Lavender essential oil soap with layers & heart tube embeds

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Description of Bramble Berry Lavender essential oil: The scent of lavender has shown to have positive effects on mood and can help to alleviate mild feelings of agitation or distress. Lavender has been thought for centuries to arouse passions as an aphrodisiac. This is a bold yet fresh smelling Lavender essential oil, very similar to Lavender Provence. CP: No A, D, R.

 

The Plan:
Use 74 oz batter for 5 lb mold plus tube embeds.
Pour off extra soap (16 oz) for new tube embeds for future projects.
13 oz of Heart Tubes Embed: 1 skinny Aqua, 1 Fat Yellow, 0.5 Queens Purple skinny & 0.5 Ultraviolet blue = 13 oz.

Master batch Oils #18: 65 oz Oils (Makes 90 oz/5.6 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.17 oz / 260 grams
Distilled Water: (4.5 oz disc/ 22% disc) 16 oz / 454 grams (Used 14 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 18 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Sea Buckthorn Extract (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

74 oz batter/Colors/5 oz EO:
Add EO to batter, then separate into:
40 oz TD White (in distilled water)
15 oz BB Queens Purple mica in oil (pour off 1 oz for top)
11 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & BB Yellow Lip Safe in oil (pour off 1 oz for top)
8 oz BB Aqua Pearl mica in oil (pour off 1 oz for top)

Layers:
14 oz layer of Queen’s Purple on bottom (stick blend)
10 oz layer of Yellow (middle) layer (stick blend)
7 oz layer of Aqua Pearl last layer
1/2 white, add heart tube embeds & rest of white.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top, spritz fine iridescent glitter.
CPOP, but don’t turned on at halfway
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I combined the lye liquid and oils when they were both 99F, and I stick blended until just past emulsified, (using an immersion blender), then separated it out for layers. I added purple mica & eo to the batter for the first layer, poured off 1 oz for the top, then stick blended quite a bit and poured into mold. It set very quickly, as it was pretty stiff.

I mixed up the yellow batter with color & eo and stick blended, then poured over the purple and put in the fridge to stiffen. While waiting for that, I prepped the aqua color & eo and prepped soap for some tube embeds.

I poured the aqua pearl batter over the yellow layer (over a spatula to prevent break through – and there wasn’t any. Since this soap wasn’t stick blended, I put in the fridge to stiffen for a while, while making tube embeds.

I mixed up the 40 oz of batter with TD and eo – it was Very stiff. I had to stick blend the TD in water into the batter, which did not help. (After trying the TD in water several times, I think I will go back to prepping it in oil and pouring through a fine tea strainer. I have much more control and don’t need to stick blend.)

I had to glop the last layer in – attempted to do it over a spatula without success. The aqua layer seemed set, but with such big plops of white batter, it did upset it and broke through. After adding about half, I set the heart tube embeds on top and finished with more white.

The three 1 oz of colored batter I had separated out were still very fluid (except the aqua was stiffer). I poured all on top in lines and swirled with a small chopstick; spritzed with alcohol, then fine iridescent glitter, more alcohol spritzing, and finally put in a 150F preheated oven to CPOP for 4 hours. (I did not turn the oven back on half way, as the soap seemed to be very warm to begin with. I remembered that it felt like the essential oil “cooked off” a bit last time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster (for quicker removal from the mold and faster cutting & curing). (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)

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The Cut:
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Conclusions:
I should have stick blended just until emulsified, as by the time I got to the white layer, it was really thick. I also think I will switch back to titanium dioxide in oil instead of distilled water. If it’s dissolved in water, it needs to be stick blended to incorporate, and with such a thick batter that makes it very difficult, plus I don’t need to thicken it more by stick blending.

The only reason I used 1/2 heart tube embed of Ultraviolet blue instead of a full tube embed of Queens Purple, is because that was all I had. The color difference is slight, but noticeable if you look closely. Next time I hope to have enough of each embed. I did a Clyde slide pour when making the Aqua embeds, which gives it a nice swirl inside the heart.

I like the overall color combination used here. And in spite of a couple areas where the white dropped into the aqua layer, it still turned out well.

 

Bramble Berry Coconut Milk soap in drop and hanger swirls with berry embeds on top

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Description of Bramble Berry’s Bramble Berry Fragrance: A sweet mix of bergamot, blackberry, raspberry, peony, honeysuckle, and violet leaf. Notes of white woods, golden amber, and musk add complexity and depth. CP: No discolor; behaves well. 0% Vanilla.

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold; 50 oz batter plus 27 berry embeds on top (3 oz)
Use 3.2 oz Bramble Berry FO
Pour off 17 oz for tube embeds and samples.

Master batch Oils #18: 48 oz Oils (Makes 67 oz/ 4.2 lb soap)
MB Oils: 48 oz/ 1361 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.77 oz / 192 grams
Frozen Coconut Milk & Distilled Water: 1:1 (2.14 oz disc/ 14% disc): 13 oz / 369 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Mallow Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Nettle Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

50 oz Batter/Colors/FO 3.2 oz:
30 oz TD White (in oil)
5+ oz BB Plum
5+ oz BB Queens Purple mica
5+ oz BB Raspberry mica
5+ oz CC Lime Green Mojito mica
Pour all of white into mold and drop swirl a little of the colors.
TOP with green lines, other colors in dots & swirl; add 3 embed berries on each bar.
PUT IN FRIDGE so milk doesn’t overheat.

 

The Reality:
I combined 7.5 oz of frozen coconut milk with 5.5 oz frozen distilled water, then added the lye and stirred until completely dissolved. I mixed the lye and oils together at 85F and 102F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I was hesitant to go any thicker, as with milks they sometimes thicken quicker (this did not).

I divided up all the batter and colored, and worked on some tube embeds until the main soap was at the right consistency for the design, then added the FO. I poured about 28 oz of white into the mold, then drop swirled the other colors, with a lighter hand on the green, as I wanted to save some for the top. I used a gear tie and swirled horizontally in figure 8’s about 3 times. I added more white to the top, then diagonal lines of green and swirled with a toothpick.

It seemed a little plain, so I added drops of each color, and pulled a toothpick through the middle to create hearts. I liked the results and wanted to leave it as is, but I had factored in the weight of the berries, so if they weren’t added, the soap would be a little lighter than usual (about 1/3 oz).

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Top before adding berries

Interestingly, the fragrance caused reverse trace, and the batter started getting thinner. So I waited quiet a while before adding the berries on top (making some individual soaps with the leftover batter using the Clyde Slide swirl). When those were complete, the top had set nicely and I spritzed each berry with alcohol and added three on what would be each bar.

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Same area of loaf, but with berries

I put the loaf in a soaping refrigerator until the next day, to prevent the milk from overheating.

 

The Cut:
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Conclusions:
I chose the colors plum, purple, & raspberry to match some raspberry/blackberry embeds I had that were in those hues. However, the raspberry was a lighter pink and the raspberry mica I used was much more red. I lightened it up a bit with titanium dioxide, but it was sill too red, so I added some pink lemonade mica. Not quite a perfect match, however as it cured it lightened and worked well.

The description of this fragrance in the website said it didn’t discolor, but the bottle said that it discolored beige. I had tested it on a sample size soap in the past and didn’t see any color change, so I was surprised when it turned such a dark cream color…but it looks okay to me.

I think next time using TD to lighten base soap, applying less of all the colors and more green, with a vertical or circular swirl would be nice. (I really like all the green on top.)

 

Watermelon Cucumber soap with poppy seeds

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Description of Bramble Berry Cucumber Melon Fragrance: Juicy and ripe, not too sweet; much more watermelon than cucumber: a clean, crisp watermelon scent combined with cool refreshing cucumber. CP: No D. Behaves beautiful.
The Plan:
Use 86 oz soap in 5 lb mold.
Layers for rind & poppy seeds for exfoliation.
5 oz Cucumber Melon FO
13 grams poppy seeds in 3rd layer
Pour off extra batter for embeds.

Master Batch Oils #18: 70 oz Oils (Makes 98 oz/6.2 lb soap)
MB Oils: 70 oz/ 1984 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 9.87 oz / 280 grams
Distilled Water: (4.08 oz disc/ 18% disc): 18 oz / 510 grams (Used 16 oz for faster trace)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 20 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 20 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%):20 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%):20 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

86 oz Batter/Color/FO 5 oz:
1st Layer (rind): (put in fridge 15 min to set up)
11.5 oz dark green MM Hunter Green & MM Blackish Green, 13 ml FO
11.5 oz light green CC Granny Smith Apple Green & MM Fruit Green, 13 ml FO
2nd Layer: (put in fridge 15 min to set up)
8 oz TD white (in distilled water), 9 ml FO
3rd Layer:
55 oz TKB #30 True Red, MM Pink Lemonade, & BB Raspberry mica, rest of FO
13 grams poppy seeds
CPOP 5 hrs in 150F oven.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafters Choice WSP; MM = Mica’s & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide; TKB = TKB Trading)
The Reality:
I combined the lye liquid and oils at 86F & 100F, and I stick blended until emulsified, (using an immersion blender), then separated out for layers. I added color & FO to the two green batters, stick blended several times to get the right consistency, then poured lines of color into the mold. While this was in the fridge setting, I prepped some batter to make tube embeds.

When the first layer was set, I added TD white & FO to the container for the second layer and stick blended (TD in water must be stick blended into batter for dispersal.) This got very stiff fast and I had a difficult time getting a full layer of white into the mold (just needed 1-2 oz more batter).

I then prepped the soap for the third layer, and after adding poppy seeds, color & FO, the consistency was great for a perfect pour. I thought about scalloping the top or adding glitter, but just left it as is.

I spritzed on alcohol several times, then put in a 150F preheated oven for 5 hours. (The oven was off until the halfway mark, then turned back on to bring up to heat, and off again for the remainder of the time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster – for quicker removal from the mold, plus speeding up the curing & wait before cutting. (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)
The Cut:

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Conclusions:
The titanium dioxide in distilled water caused problems again, as it must be incorporated by stick blending, so the white layer got very thick and was hard to spread for an even layer. It seemed too thin of a layer, but in the end it worked out very well.

I went back and forth on whether to scallop the top, and in hind sight, I should have done something with it, as it seems slightly unfinished – not completely smooth and a bit  imperfect. Next time some texturing on top will be a better way to go.

 

Four Thieves #22 Advanced Tiger Stripe & Layers – including the story of the Four Thieves Blend

This is another remake of Four Thieves, which is my most popular soap:

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Information on Essential Oils used:
Clove: Is an aroma stimulant and an aphrodisiac; it helps with fatigue & depression, the respiratory system, muscle pain, and nausea. And it has analgesic properties.
Litsea Cubeba (May Chang): Used for a Lemon, or a base note in more elusive citrus notes, this is a lovely, uplifting & rejuvenating essential oil. It can also be used to treat acne or oily skin. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties are said to make it effective against common infections like cold and cough. The oil is a tonic for the nervous system and can help with digestive problems as well.
Cinnamon: Properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic.
Eucalyptus: It awakens the mind and opens the lungs. It helps remove exhaustion & mental sluggishness and rejuvenates the spirits of the sick. It has a pleasant aroma and is effective as a deodorant, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent. Helps to clear sinuses.
Rosemary: Used as decongestant and for muscle pain, it is stimulating & energizing. Best known for its aid in memory and hair loss. (It is also considered a symbol of love, and the sprigs have been traditionally used in wedding ceremonies.)

 

The Plan:
Use 92 oz batter (leftovers for samples).
Pour off 21 oz for embeds and fragrance testing
5 lb mold in 3 layers
1st layer white with eo blend
2nd layer tiger wall pour (no eo, 6 colors)
3rd layer white with eo blend
Use 4 oz EO Blend

4 oz – 114 grams Four Thieves Oil: (might accelerates trace)
34% Clove leaf: 1.36 oz 39 grams
30% Litsea 1.20 oz 34 grams
16% Cinnamon: 0.64 oz 18 grams
12% Eucalyptus: 0.48 oz 14 grams
8% Rosemary: 0.32 oz 9 grams

Master Batch Oils #17 & #18: 80 oz Oils (Makes 113 oz/ 7 lb soap)
MB Oils: 80 oz/ 2268 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 11.29 oz / 320 grams
Distilled Water: (4.25 oz disc/ 17% disc): 21 oz / 595 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 23 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 23 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

92 oz (use 86 oz)/Colors/4 oz EO Blend:
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white 2.2 oz EO
2nd Layer: 24 oz total – use 18 oz; No EO (2.5 oz & .5 oz for top)
4 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow locking Mica
4 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe Orange (yellow)
4 oz BB Radiant Plum
4 oz BB Queens Purple
4 oz BB Ultramarine Blue
4 oz CC Granny Smith Apple Green Mica
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White 1.8 oz EO
Top with lines of colors (swirled) & fine Iridescent Glitter.
CPOP.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = WSP Crafter’s Choice; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
Due to medical issues, it had been over 3 months since I made any soap – this was a full session to start out with, but it all came together well.

I soaped my lye and oils a bit warm, at 95F & 108F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I separated out the batter and colored. After adding the TD white to the 38 oz container, I poured in the 2.2 oz of EO blend, which accelerated a bit. I then poured 38 oz into the mold and let set while I made embeds for future projects.

For the second layer I tilted the mold and added unscented & colored batter lengthwise along the side – this is called an advanced tiger pour. I made four passes with each color in this order: blue, yellow, green, plum, orange, and purple.

I then put in the fridge to set up. About 20 minutes later, I added 1.8 oz of eo blend to the 30 oz container, again getting some acceleration. I poured this layer over a spatula to prevent any break through into the colored layer.

After topping with lines of colored batter and swirling, I spritzed with fine iridescent glitter, and put into a 150F pre-heated oven for 4 hours. (The oven was off until the halfway mark, then turned back on to bring up to heat, and off again for the remainder of the time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster – for quicker removal from the mold, plus speeding up the curing & wait before cutting. (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)

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The Cut:

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Leftovers in 4 succulents molds

 

Conclusions:
I got some acceleration from the essential oils (clove & cinnamon are the culprits), but I was expecting that and it was still very workable.

Last time I made this, by the time I got to using the 4 succulent molds, the batter was really thick. This time I pre-poured the colors into the molds, then used the extra batter from the 1st & 3rd layers to fill them.

I found I had to use a Lot more of Titanium Dioxide in oil than I usually do, so this batch has more super-fatting than typical, but that should also make it more moisturizing too. Because of that, it was slower to get hard enough to cut, so I waited an extra couple days for it to firm up. But I am very pleased with how these turned out.

 

The Story Behind The Four Thieves Blend:
The Bubonic Plague wreaked havoc in Europe off and on for about 600 years before peaking in the 1300s. Century after century, as late as the 1700s, outbreaks claimed up to half the population.

During the plague a group of four brothers began robbing the dead. At first, they were largely ignored, as everyone knew they would eventually pay the price by catching the contagion themselves but, to everyone’s surprise, they managed to avoid the plague and continued robbing graves, amassing a great deal of wealth. They became legendary and everyone wanted to know how they evaded the sickness.

When they were finally captured, they were asked for their secret during questioning. After much debating, they agreed to share their methods in return for their pardon.

These men were the offspring of a perfumer and herbalist. They learned about essential oils from their parents during their childhood. They knew these oils would protect them so they rubbed them on their bodies and used them to clean anything they brought back. The powerful blend is now called Four Thieves. (They did use these oils & herbs in vinegar, and the vinegar probably played a big part in their wellness too).

An interesting note: There is a period of time when physicians wore dark robes, wide-brimmed hats, & masks with long beaks. These beaks held dried herbs, spices and essential oils which the physician breathed. The robe was doused with a similar fragrant concoction. (Scientific evidence today is building support for these actions.)

Black Raspberry Vanilla in the pot swirl with purple heart

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Description of Bramble Berry Black Raspberry Vanilla Fragrance: A multi-layered FO, with decadent fruity notes to create a sublime scent. Fresh, vine-ripened raspberries and blackberry notes are mixed with Italian bergamot, California Bartlett pear and softened with notes of plum wine, vanilla orchid and a silky, cashmere musk. Sweet, silky and mouth-watering. CP: No D, A, or R. 0% Vanilla. Very light (add extra) – smells great.

 

The Plan:
Use 80 oz batter for 5 lb mold
Use 5 oz Black Raspberry Vanilla FO (watch for acceleration)
Bottom layer with Queens purple & white ITP swirl
Top layer white, with skinny heart tube embeds (5.8 oz)
Leftovers in individual Succulent soap molds

Master batch Oils #18: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams (used 14 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Sea Buckthorn Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

80 oz Batter + 5.8 oz embed/Colors/5 oz Black Raspberry Vanilla FO:
45 oz TD White (in distilled water)
35 oz BB Queens purple mica
1st Layer ITP swirl: (40 oz)
35 oz purple (save some for top)
5 oz white
2nd Layer: (40 oz) + embeds
40 oz white
5.8 oz heart tube embeds
Pour some white, add embeds, fill with rest of white.
Top with lines of purple batter and swirl with chopstick.

 

The Reality:
I lost track of time while waiting for the lye liquid to cool, so it got all the way down to 71F in an ice bath, while the oils were 107F. I stick blended them together until a heavily emulsified, but not quite at trace (using an immersion blender).

After dividing up the batter, I added the colors. Once again, I used titanium dioxide in water instead of oils, and had to stick blend to combine. TD already speeds up trace, and stick blending just added to thickening it. So I also had to stick blend the purple to get similar consistencies.

I added 5-6 oz of white into the purple container in 3 places, pouring from high above to right on top, to get the white throughout the purple, then swirled once with a spatula – doing an In The Pot swirl. I poured this into the mold (with the mold on a scale) until 40 oz was poured, saving some for the top, with any other leftovers for individual molds.

The white was pretty thick, so I didn’t wait to pour over the purple layer, and even though I used a spatula and the purple seemed set, I had some break through. After adding about 1/4 of the white, I placed my heart tube embeds on top and poured the rest of the white.

I finished off with 3 lines of purple batter on top, then swirled with a thin chopstick and dusted with fine iridescent glitter. I spritzed on alcohol before and after this, then put in a 150F preheated oven for 5 hours. (The oven was off until the halfway mark, then turned back on to bring up to heat, and off again for the remainder of the time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster – for quicker removal from the mold, and speeds up the curing & wait before cutting. (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)

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The Cut:
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Conclusions:
This was another attempt to use Titanium Dioxide in water instead of oil and it seems like I didn’t use quite enough, as the white is more of a cream color, which is even more prevalent on top, and seems to have darkened after CPOP.

I’m not as pleased about this batch as a previous one (see blog here). I would like to have seen more white in the purple and more of a distinct difference between the two layers. I should have waited for the first layer to set up more before adding the second one. And I think using the fat heart tube embed looks better than the skinny heart.

But it still smells great!

 

POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu soap – in drop & hanger swirls

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Description of Bramble Berry FO/EO’s:
Pineapple FO: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach color.
10X Orange Essential Oil: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart.” It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Pink Grapefruit FO: This is an exhilarating, wake-me-up citrus, with a juicy grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. Grapefruit is reputed to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression. CP: Water white.
Yuzu FO: A fresh and sparkling light Japanese citrus. It is also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit; with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit. A very subtle fragrance. CP: No A, R, D Very light. Water white.

 

The Plan:
Pour off 36 oz for Sunshine Orange Yuzu soaps (See separate blog here).
Use 52 oz in 3 lb silicone mold.
Drop & hanger swirls.
Left overs in Chrysanthemum molds with Clyde slide swirl/pour.

Master batch Oils #18: 65 oz Oils (Makes 90 oz/5.6 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.17 oz / 260 grams
Distilled Water: (4.5 oz disc/ 22% disc) 16 oz / 454 grams (USED 15 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 18 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Scent Blend 3 oz Total: (Keep Separate – do not blend!!)
1.0 oz Pink Grapefruit (water white)
1.0 oz Yuzu (water white)
0.5 oz Pineapple (slight peach discolor)
0.5 oz 10x Orange (discolor orange)

52 oz batter/colors/3 oz EO/FO:
31 oz TD white (in distilled water), 0.75 oz Yuzu, 0.75 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Fired Up Fuchsia Pink, 0.25 oz Yuzu, 0.25 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange & Sunset Orange (turns yellow), 0.5 oz Orange
7 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow, 0.5 oz Pineapple
Color soap before adding EO to make sure you get the right color.
Drop & hanger swirls.

 

The Reality:
I soaped my lye and oil both at 98F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I split up my batter for two projects (see Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soap blog for details on those soaps here.)

After dividing and coloring the soap, I added the fragrance. Instead of using oil to dissolve the titanium dioxide, I used distilled water, which didn’t mix well into the soap, so I stick blended it briefly and that turned out really nice. Since I did that with the white, I stick blended the other colors to bring them all to about the same consistencies.

I poured the white into the mold, then drop swirled the other colors, alternating them from higher & lower highs above the mold, so that they would drop to different lengths in the mold. I then hanger swirled 3 times horizontally and a couple times vertically.

After adding lines of colored batter on top, I swirled with a thin chopstick angling one way and then another, then spritzed with alcohol and fine iridescent glitter. After letting it firm up a bit, I covered with plastic wrap and towels, then put away to gel for a day.

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The Cut:
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Conclusions:
I had never made a POGY soap that wasn’t either a shampoo or salt soap. I was still feeling a bit rusty from 3+ months of not making soap, and it felt like it had been forever since doing a hanger swirl, but I think they came out really nice.

Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soap

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Description of Bramble Berry FO/EO’s:
Orange 10X EO: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart”. It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Yuzu FO: A fresh and sparkling light Japanese citrus. It is also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit; with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit. A very subtle fragrance. CP: Water White. Very Light.
Kumquat FO: Similar to orange and is along the lines of pomegranate – bright, fresh, purple with notes of green. CP: No A, R, D Very light. Water white.
Orange Valencia EO: Light and airy mood enhancer that blends well with almost anything. CP: Very Light and fades a bit; slight orange discolor.

 

The Plan:
Pour off 52 oz for POGY soap (See separate blog here).
Use 36 oz in sunflower molds for Sunshine Orange Yuzu soap.
Sunflowers: brown eye, yellow petals, rest orange.
Left overs in Chrysanthemums molds with Clyde slide swirl & pour.

Master batch Oils #18: 65 oz Oils (Makes 90 oz/5.6 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.17 oz / 260 grams
Distilled Water: (4.5 oz disc/ 22% disc) 16 oz / 454 grams (USED 15 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 18 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

36 oz Batter/Colors/ 4 oz FO/EO:
EO/FO Blend: 1.5 oz 10x Orange + 1.5 oz Yuzu + .45 Orange Valencia + .55 oz Kumquat
.25 oz BB Cappuccino brown mica
16 oz CC Yellow Locking Mica (may only need 8 oz), 1.5 oz EO/FO
20 oz BB Nuclear orange, 2.5 oz EO/FO
Color soap before adding EO to make sure to get the right color.
Dark Brown for the eye of the flower – put in fridge to set.
Yellow for the petals – put in fridge to set.
Orange for rest of soap.

 

The Reality:
I soaped both the lye and oils at 98F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I split up my batter for two projects (see POGY soap blog for details on those soaps here.)

After dividing and coloring the soap, I poured off a tiny amount (1/2 oz?) for the centers; added brown mica, and used a pipet to get the batter into the center of the sunflower mold, then put into the fridge to set. While waiting, I divided up, colored, & fragranced the rest of the batter. (I had a little extra batter, which I poured off and colored white, leaving it unscented for accents in Chrysanthemums molds.)

When the first layer was firm, I added the yellow soap to cover all the petals and put back into the fridge to stiffen. Although it wasn’t completely solidified, (the middle was still a little wobbly), I carefully added the orange color over a spatula to prevent break through, until each mold was full.

There was a lot of leftover batter, which I poured into paper cups for ease of working with. I then alternated pouring the colors (including the extra white) into another paper cup along one side that was tilted. When it was full, I poured 90 degrees from where I added the colors, into Chrysanthemum molds. (This is called the Clyde Slide pour). I repeated this process until 4 molds were full. (After pouring the first two soaps, I remembered I had some brown left and added that into the last two).

 

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I should have been more patient and waited longer for the yellow to set when making the sunflower soaps, as I had some breakthrough on one mold.

The extra white I poured off for the Chrysanthemums was much thicker than the other batter, so I added a tiny bit of Yuzu fragrance, which helped thin it out, but I should have added more FO, as it was still much thicker than the other batters, and that effected the pour and the design.

I didn’t need the Orange Valencia or Kumquat FO’s – I just had them and they are very light, so I wanted to used them up. This could easily be made with 1.5 oz of each 10X Orange & Yuzu.

POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu Pink Himalayan Salt soap in starburst and circle swirl with tropical flower embeds

The last time I made this it wasn’t as popular as it used to be – it was the only salt bar that didn’t have embeds and it had a bit of a flat color profile, so I made up some multi-colored Hibiscus embeds for this batch and amped up the colors:

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Description of Bramble Berry Essential and Fragrance oil’s:
Pineapple: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach discolor.
10X Orange Essential Oil: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart”. It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Pink Grapefruit: A juicy, ruby red grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. CP: Water white.
Yuzu: A fresh and sparkling light Japanese citrus. It is also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit; with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit. A very subtle fragrance. CP: Water white.

 
The Plan:
18 bar mold.
Pour off 4 oz for EO testing.
Lines of color, with starburst and circle swirl with tropical embeds on top.
Salt MB Oils #4: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz/5.375 lb – plus 28 oz PH Salt=114 oz/7.125 lb)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 9 oz/255 grams
Aloe Juice & Distilled Water: (2.8 oz/14% disc): 17 oz/482 grams (8 oz Aloe, 9 oz water)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot (2%): 34 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 28 oz (by weight)

POGY Scent 7 oz:
1.5 oz Pineapple; 1.5 oz 10X Orange; 2 oz Pink Grapefruit; 2 oz Yuzu

86 oz Batter/Colors/7 oz EO-FO/ 28 oz PH Salt:
22 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow Locking mica, 1.5 oz Pineapple FO, + 7 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Tangerine Wow, 0.75 oz 10X Orange EO, + 3 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Radiant Plum, 1 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, 0.375 oz 10X Orange EO, + 6 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Queens Mica, 1 oz Yuzu FO, 0.375 oz 10X Orange EO, + 6 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Aqua Pearl mica, 1 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, + 3 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Ultra-marine Blue, 1 oz Yuzu FO, + 3 oz PH Salt

Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 4 oz embeds on top.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I soaped the Lye liquid and oils at 75F & 95F, stick blending until just past emulsification (using an immersion blender). I could have and should have blended I little longer, but I also wanted to test some fragrance blends with the extra batter, so this gave me plenty of time to do that.

After separating and coloring the batter, I added the salt and EO/FO – eye-balling the fragrances measured out. I alternated pouring lines of batter until the bottom of the mold was covered, then did a Chevron swirl – just so the bottom of the bar would look nice. I continued to pour the batter until almost done and I had a nice color variety on top. (I weighed the mold before pouring, calculated how much it would weigh with the correct amount of soap, and then weighed again, adding until I had what I needed.)

I pulled a skinny chopstick through at a diagonal in several places (instead of doing a starburst). I then did a circle swirl, added the dividers and embeds, then some fine iridescent glitter and put into the oven for 5 hours to CPOP. (Pre-heating to 150F, turning it off, then brought it back up to 150F and off again at 2.5 hours.) CPOP (cold process, oven process) is so important with salt bars…if they are too set/hard, they can be almost impossible to get off the dividers without breaking them.

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The Cut/Un-molding:

Version 3

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Conclusions:
I always try to keep the lye and oils within 10F when combining (and as close to the same temperatures as possible), but this time there was a 20F difference – the lye liquid was in an ice bath too long. But the fragrances are so forgiving, I didn’t have to worry about any acceleration from them and the salt soap formula is also very tolerant, so I knew I would be okay with these temperature variations.

This soap stayed so fluid that even when I placed the embeds on top, they sank in – which turned out to be really nice, as sometimes the embeds get in the way (if too high) when using the soap.

I liked that the design and colors are so vibrant. You can see previous POGY salt bars  here, here, and here.

Lemongrass Lavender Peppermint White Planes Pink Himalayan Salt Soap in starburst and circle swirl

This was a hit last time (see here), so of course I needed to alter it a bit – I upped the Lemongrass by 1/2 ounce and changed the Aqua to Apple Green. It’s always nice to do something a little different:

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Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Essential Oils:
BA Lavender 40/42: Similar to Lavender Provence essential oil, this is a mixture of lavender’s: 40/42 blends different kinds of Lavender for a consistent blend. The aroma can have a soothing effects on people suffering from stress, anxiety, and illness. CP: Water White, no A, D, R.
BA Lemongrass: Known for its invigorating and antiseptic properties, its astringent properties help fight acne and greasy skin. CP: has staying power; discolors yellow.
BB Peppermint 1st Distill: Smells minty fresh, like peppermint gum; herbaceous, sweet smelling; can improve mental performance, cognitive function, & digestion. CP: Water White, very potent.

 

The Plan:
Make 86 oz batter, (pour off extra 11 oz for tube embeds).
18 bar mold: 75 oz soap, 30 oz salt, 8.8 oz white airplane embeds
EO Blend Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint.

Salt MB Oils #4: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz/5.375 lb – plus 32 oz PH Salt=118 oz/7.375 lb)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 8.89 oz/ 252 grams
1:1 Aloe & Distilled Water: (3.88 oz/20% disc): 16 oz/ 454 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 30 oz (by weight)

Essential Oil Blend (3:2:1.5) = 6.5 oz:
3 oz Lavender
2 oz Lemongrass
1.5 oz Peppermint

75 oz Batter/Color/6.5 oz EO’s:
21 oz TD White, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Ultraviolet blue, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz CC Apple Green mica, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Radiant Plum mica, 7.5 oz PH Salt

Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 8.8 oz embeds on top.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 88F & 92F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender) and separated out all the batter. After coloring and adding the Pink Himalayan salt, I added the essential oil blend.

The batter was very thin, so I waited until it thickened to a light-medium trace, which was perfect for starting, but it quickly firmed up to a medium trace – still fine to work with. After pouring one row of lines of colored soap into the mold, I took a chop stick and swirled so that there would be a nice design on the bottom of each bar.

I continued to pour lines of batter until I had used all most all of it up. I then did a starburst swirl with a thin chopstick, and then a circle swirl:

IMG_9649I added the dividers, then airplane embeds (spritzed with alcohol), and finished with a sprinkle of fine iridescent glitter. I sprayed the top with alcohol, covered and put in a 150F oven (pre-heated and turned off) for 5 hours, bringing back up to temperature at the halfway mark. Then I un-molded.

 

 

The Cut (Un-molding):

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Conclusions:
I’m very pleased with how this turned out and really enjoyed making it.

Sweet Meyer Lemon Blackberry soap in diagonal, with cosmic purple heart embed

This was a fun design last time I made it (see blog here) so I decided to reverse the colors this time:

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Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Sweet Meyer Lemon (SML): A lush, Caribbean garden bursting with the aroma of sweet lemons, horned melons, succulent kiwis, and ripe pineapple wedges. Sweet tropical florals complete this island wonder. CP: Discolors to a light ivory/tan, may get slight acceleration.
Blackberry Cybilla (BC): This ripe and juicy fragrance oil will take you back to the days of picking sweet blackberries off the vine during the long days of summer. CP: No A or R. .5% Vanilla. turns very green. (No green with VS added)
Earl Grey Lemon Tea (EGL): Meyer Lemons with Bergamot, heavy on citrus, light on tea notes; energized & positive; notes of citronella, marmalade & blood orange. CP: Sometimes A & R. No D.

 
The Plan:
5 lb mold – 1.4 purple skinny hearts in cosmic purple
Pour off 4 oz for embeds.

Master batch Oils #17: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Fragrance Blend (5.2 oz FO):
1.4 oz Earl Grey Lemon; 2 oz Sweet Meyer Lemon; 1.8 oz Blackberry Cybillia; 0.75 oz Vanilla Stabilizer

80 oz Batter/Colors/FO Blend (5.2 FO + 0.75 oz VS = 5.95 oz Blend)
1st Layer:
43 oz BB Cosmic Purple, (pour off 1 oz before adding FO); 3.3 oz FO/VS blend
2nd Layer:
37 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow mica, 2.65 oz FO/VS blend
Cosmic Purple Heart Tube Embeds (1.4 Tubes – 6 oz)

Pour 1st layer at an angle, let set.
Then pour half of 2nd layer, add embed, pour rest.
Top with 1 oz of purple soap.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

 

The Reality:
This was a very straight forward design and soaping session. The heart tube embeds were pre-made and I needed just under 1 1/2 tubes. I soaped the lye and oils at 80F and 88F, stick blending until just past emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing out and coloring the batter, I added the FO blend.

The mold was tilted as close to a 45 degree angle as possible and propped up to remain that way. I poured the cosmic purple and let it set. (While that was happening, I used my extra soap to make embeds for future projects).

I then righted the mold, poured half the yellow batter, added the purple heart tube embeds, then the rest of the yellow soap. I took the 1 oz of purple I had saved earlier and poured two lines of color down the top and swirled with a thin chopstick.

After sprinkling with fine iridescent glitter and spritzing with alcohol, I put the mold in a 150F pre-heated oven for 4 hours. (The oven was off until the halfway mark, then turned back on to bring up to heat, and off again for the remainder of the time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster (for quicker removal from the mold and faster cutting). However, the embeds had been curing for a while, so I let the soap set for several days before cutting. (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)

 
The Cut:
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Conclusions:
I weigh my mold before starting and usually during and after pouring each layer – to get the exact amount of batter I want, and I planned to do that here. Except I couldn’t, as I had to keep the mold at an angle to set, (which I didn’t realize until I was pouring the soap), so I just estimated the amount of purple batter. I ended up a bit light on the first layer. (Next time I need to weigh the batter in the container before pouring and after pouring, to make sure to get the correct amount in the mold.)

I also didn’t swirl any of the opposite colored soap (yellow) in the first layer (as I did when I made this previously) – I just was in a mood to keep is simple – and I think it turned out okay. Next time though, I want to make the yellow a bit lighter or use a different tint, as this one feels a little heavy.

Since the heart tubes were made at different times, I didn’t get the colors matched exactly, and the partial tube used is more blue that the purple-blue (cosmic purple) of the first heart. When making the cosmic purple heart tube, I alternated dark and light purple to get a bit of design in the heart (see photos.) I did this in the last batch, when I used a yellow heart, but it was difficult to discern with yellow being such a light color (see blog here).