In The Pot Swirl with Embeds: Gingerbread Man in Buttermilk and Woodland Elves Christmas Tree

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Gingerbread Man Buttermilk soap and Woodland Elves Christmas Tree soap.

It seems like I was just saying how down I am on MP embeds….BUT this was the easiest way for me to make these soaps. So I made three – 4 inch long men (gingerbread men) –  the length of each mold, and three – 4 inch long trees (Christmas Trees). It’s difficult to get glycerine soap out of these molds, and it would be even more so with CP, hence the MP.

I used  3-butters (Mango, Cocoa, & Shea) detergent free, low sweat soap (Crafters Choice), which is what I typically use, (and it still sweats – if they are on top). But these guys are all going into the center of the soaps, so they should behave a little better.

It’s been 2 years since I made these soaps and back then I used the Red Essential Depot mold – which works really good for this design. However, no one seems to like the shape of the soap (square), so I am back to my good old 3 lb silicone mold.

The Master Plan for both soap batches:

Since I have 3 butters embeds, I thought it would be nice to pair that with 3 butters CP soap, so I calculated out the last of my Master Batch #4 oils with adding 1.4 oz of Mango butter to it, and  this is what I came up with:

Master batch #4 oils: (28 oz Oils + 1.4 oz Mango Butter; Makes 42 oz soap)
Oils: 28 oz / 794 grams
Mango Butter: 1.4 oz/ 40 grams
Lye 5% SF: 4.16 oz / 118 grams
Frozen Buttermilk or Distilled water: (1.7 oz disc): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate: 8 grams

I will use this recipe for both soaps.

 

Gingerbread Man Buttermilk Soap

The Plan:

Made: 14 oz of Three Butters MP soap in white = 3 Men.
Use 2.5 men: 11.6 oz of MP embeds.
ITP swirl, then add Man embeds.
42 oz of batter plus 11.6 oz embeds = 53.6 oz soap.

FO – 3 oz of BB Gingersnap
Description: This is the quintessential holiday fragrance, smells just like baked Gingersnap. It has some additional spice notes to give it that extra spark: Caraway Seed, Cinnamon, Cardamom  – with Vanilla to warm up and compliment the spices. This fragrance will discolor to a dark brown. 4.1% Vanilla. Some Acceleration (enough time for ITP swirl).

Batter/Colors/FO
24 oz CC Brown Sparkle mica with 3 oz FO
6 oz TKB #30 True Red
6 oz TKB #10 Lake Yellow & CC Yellow locking mica mix
6 oz Orange BB Nuclear Orange

Gold, Merlot, & Brown mica oils swirled on top.

I broke up my frozen Buttermilk and added the Lye. The highest temperature reached was 100 degrees. I added the lye-milk to 102 degree oils; stick blended till emulsified, and poured off the batter for the brown (which would have all the FO). I stick blended the rest of the batter to light trace for the other colors.

When I had all my colors prepped, I added the FO to the base batter – no acceleration. So I just continued to stir all batters until they were at a light to medium trace. I did an In The Pot swirl and it all started getting thicker – a perfect pour into the mold; added my white Gingerbread MP embeds, then topped it off with mica oil swirls.

Into the freezer for a couple hours, then into the fridge overnight.

Top of loaf with swirled mica oils:

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Gold, Merlot, & Brown mica oils swirled with soap

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Close up of swirls

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I have discerned that both times I used 100% Buttermilk for the liquid, the soap looks really rough. (OMH Buttermilk Soap with Colloidal Oatmeal Blog Sept 26, 2016). I thought in the first batch the coarseness was due to the Colloidal Oatmeal, but that is obviously not the case, as it happened in this soap too.

Also, when I pour the lye-milk through a strainer, it plugs it up with milk/butter fat and I have to work it through a bit. I have reached the conclusion that Buttermilk will probably work better in soap if it is diluted with distilled water.

As the soap has been curing, there has been some color bleed into the white man. Using a darker color or adding Vanilla Stabilizer to the embeds would make this less noticeable or prevent bleed.

 

Woodland Elves Christmas Tree Soap

I have used Woodland Elves FO twice before – the first time it accelerated like crazy, the second time it did not.

I used the same soap batter recipe in the Master Plan, but used distilled water instead of Buttermilk.

 

The Plan:

Made: 18 oz of Three Butters MP soap in Chrome Green & Lime Green Mojito Mica color = 3 Trees.
Used: 2.5 trees: 15.3 oz total.
ITP swirl, then add Tree embeds.
42 oz of batter plus 15.3 oz embeds = 57.3 oz soap.

FO – 1 oz of BB Woodland Elves (this fragrance is Super strong.)
Description: This fragrance officially welcomes you to the holiday season! It’s the perfect combination of Christmas trees and Christmas spices including Siberian Fir, White Pine, Clove Buds and Mistletoe Berries. The pine and spice is tamed down by Pink Grapefruit, Frosted Lily and ripe Pineapple. Woodsy & spicy.

Batter/Colors/FO
24 oz White Base with all FO
6 oz Red TKB #30 True Red
6 oz Dark Green (BB Hydrated & Chrome Green)
6 oz TKB #10 Lake Yellow & CC Yellow locking mica mix

Gold, silver, & green mica oils swirled on top.

I soaped at 110 degrees for the lye-water and 120 degrees oils. I stick blended till emulsified, and poured off the batter for the white, then stick blended the rest of the batter to light trace for the other colors.

When I had all my colors prepped, I added the FO to the base batter – no acceleration. So I just continued to stir all batters until they were at a medium to light trace. I did my In The Pot swirl and it was another perfect pour into the mold; added the green Christmas Tree MP embeds, then topped it off with mica oil swirls.

Put in the freezer for a couple hours, then into the fridge overnight.

Top of loaf with Tree embeds inside, before mica oils swirled (I almost left it this way, as I like the look, but it’s impossible to not swirl):

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Top before swirling; with gold, silver, & green mica oils added

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After swirling

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Close up

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I think that both these embeds are too large for the soap – especially the Christmas tree. (Hopefully the soap won’t break in half when using.)

A larger, square mold would be better for this design. (However, it’s unpopular, so that is another issue.) I might have to find smaller embeds; have them poke out of the top of the soap (which makes it difficult to package), or not use them at all and come up with another design with these scents.

I also think that less color and more white with make this pop (maybe half the colors (21% instead of the 42% I used) or 25% total colors to the base white.)

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