Honey Chai Goat’s Milk with Frog Foot swirl

Every year for the holidays, I make a Chai Tea soap with the classic red, white, & green top – which really says Christmas to me. (You can see the previous ones on the October 8, 2015 Blog here and Dec 5, 2016 Blog here.)

I try to improve the recipe, design, and scent blend each time, and this year I went with a Honey Chai fragrance blend in a Frog Foot swirl:

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Description of Bramble Berry and Natures Garden scents:
BB Chai Tea Cybilla FO: A traditional Earl Grey Tea with citrus notes of Bergamot & Sicily Lemon; base & heart notes of Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Tahitian Vanilla & a bit of Allspice; a sweet, buttery fragrance with a touch of spice. CP: discolors to rich brown, sticks well; 4% Vanilla. Reviews: moves very fast and no acceleration.
NG Honey Bunny FO: Like LUSH “Honey I washed the Kids.” A honey scent with toffee notes, mild; scent stays. CP: Very slight acceleration, no discolor, smells nice & strong. (Used before, seemed to slow down & reverse trace, with no discolor.)

 

The Plan:
9-bar mold, 54 oz soap (extra to trim sides)
1.5 oz Chai Tea & 2.5 oz Honey Bunny
Three Layers: brown, red & yellow, white with red & green

Master batch #8 oils: 44 oz Oils (Makes 62 oz soap)
MB Oils: 44 oz/ 1247 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.27 oz / 178 grams
Frozen 2/3 strength Goats Milk & Distilled Water: (2.52 oz disc; 17.35% disc): 12 oz / 340 grams (8 oz & 4 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 12 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Honey (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Oat Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/ FO:
Bottom layer: 18 oz
18 oz BB very light Cappuccino Brown, 1.5 oz Chai Tea FO
Gold Mica line
Middle layer: 18 oz two color swirl
12 oz TKB #30 True Red, 1 oz Honey Bunny FO
6 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow & gold mica mixed, .5 oz Honey Bunny
Gold Mica line
Top layer: 18 oz, lines for frog foot swirl
8 oz TD white, .25 VS
5 oz TKB #30 True red, .5 oz Honey Bunny
5 oz Christmas Green, .5 oz Honey Bunny FO
Lines of Gold Mica oil
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; VS = Natures Garden Vanilla Stabilizer; Christmas Green = BB Hydrated Chrome green (teal) & BB Chrome Oxide)

Frog Food swirl on top. (Drag 1st tool down from long side to bottom, cutting through the lines of color. Zig-zag with 2nd tool the opposite direction of first tool.)

 

The Reality:
I had tested varying amounts of fragrance combinations several times and had difficulty getting much scent, especially from the Honey, hence the reason for such a large amount of FO in this batch. (This is probably due to both of the FO’s being old. However, I finished up the Chai Tea bottle with .5 oz and used 1 oz from a new bottle, which improved the scent.)

I used half strength frozen Goat’s Milk (2/3 strength premixed powdered GM plus distilled water), as I am learning milk seem to preform the best this way. I soaped my lye liquids & oils at 92F and 94F degree, using a strainer when combining and caught some hard bits, possibly undissolved lye (which I have only gotten a few times.) I stick blended until emulsified (using an immersion blender), then divided up the batter and colored.

For the first layer, I lightly tinted the batter, for a more uniform brown. I added the Chai Tea FO and had to stick blend quite a bit to thicken it up. Using a tea strainer, I dusted on a heavy coat of gold mica. The batter was still a bit soft, so I put it in the refrigerator for 10 minute before starting on the next layer.

After adding the Honey Bunny FO to the next two colors, I randomly poured each into the mold. As I was doing this, I noticed that the FO was reversing trace and the batter got very thin. When adding the gold mica line, the batter could barely hold it. Back into the fridge – this time for 15 minutes, which made it barely thick enough for the last layer.

By now the white, red, & green soaps were getting quite thick, but adding the FO to them thinned them out to the point where they would be easy to pour lines. (I added just a tiny bit of FO to the white to thin it out – about .2 oz, leaving .4 oz for each of the other colors.)

I flooded the top of the second layer with a thin coat of white, then poured lines of red & green lengthwise until the end, where I added some white lines, followed by lines of gold mica oil:

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I took the #1 swirling tool (found at Bramble Berry here), and went straight down from top to bottom:

 

I turned the mold 180 degrees around (for better control) and zig-zagged (with #2 swirling tool) lengthwise down the mold. (Instead of rotating the mold, you could zig-zag from bottom to top – basically the opposite of the first tool):

The end result is the Frog Foot Swirl:

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Close up of swirls

I added dividers and put into the refrigerator for 24 hours before un-molding:

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The Un-molding/Cut:

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Conclusions:
I’ve done mica lines between layers several times for my fall and holiday soaps and I have come to the conclusion that it’s a bit superfluous. They don’t show up very well, I use a lot of mica, and it doesn’t seem that appealing to be getting mica all over while showering.

The two colors in the middle layer didn’t show up that well, and when they did, it wasn’t as attractive as a single color. I think I over-played the red and green colors, trying to get them Christmassy – they seem too dark to me. Also, a thicker layer of white would be more striking.

I soaped too cool to keep the honey liquid and found most of it in the bottom of the bowl. But for milks it’s important to soap cool, so next time I would skip the honey.

I had to plane most of the sides, as the dividers pulled down the colors. I hate to Not use them, as I can’t cut very straight by hand, but that would preclude the planing. (Another option is cutting 8 bars instead of 9 – they would be less chunky and more the size of a traditional bar of soap, with additional top surface to display the design.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Cranberry soap in Advanced Tiger Stripe & Hanger swirl with embeds on top

This is a holiday staple that works even after the holidays. I changed it up a bit this time using some Orange Peal FO instead of all 10X Orange EO with the Cranberry. (See previous Cranberry Orange themed soap blogs here and here.)

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Description of Bramble Berry Fragrance oils:
Orange Peel Cybilla FO: A sweet juicy orange with the zest of the peel. CP: sticks; slight off-white color, No Acceleration.
10X Orange EO: Smells juicy, ripe and delicious – unlike traditional citrus essential oils, that die in soap. (10 fold is a form of concentrating the oil and removing much of the lower boiling components, primarily d-Limonene, via fractional distillation). CP: Turns bright yellow/orange color. No A or R.
Cranberry Chutney FO: With notes of traditional cranberry chutney, this tartly sweet scent is supported by subtle spice notes, vanilla, golden raisin, cooking apples and musk and sweetened with delightful concord grape. CP: turns yellow/tan, sometime turns blue, but will disappear within 24 hrs. (Some reviews say scent really fades.)

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold, 48 oz of soap + 4 oz embeds.
Orange slices/tarts & red cranberry embeds on top.
.75 oz Orange Peel Cybilla, .75 oz 10x Orange, & 1.5 oz Cranberry Chutney
Advanced tiger stripe pour and hanger swirl.

Master batch #8 oils: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc; 12.3% disc): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/3 oz EO-FO:
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange, .5 oz 10x Orange
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange with TD for lightening, .25 oz 10x Orange & .25 oz Orange Peel
7 oz TKB True Red, .75 oz Cranberry Chutney
7 oz BB Merlot Mica, ..75 oz Cranberry Chutney
20 oz TD White, .5 oz Orange Peel

Advanced Tiger Stripe, vertical & horizontal hanger swirl
Top with cranberry & orange slice embeds.

 

The Reality:
Soaped Lye liquid and oils at 109F &120F, stick blending until emulsified, pouring off extra batter for making embeds.

I separated out the soap and spent a lot of time pouring the tiger stripe on the edge of the mold until filling to capacity. I should have stopped there, as it was very fine, detailed work, with the batter at a perfect consistency. However, I hanger swirled, using a thin hanger tool both vertically & horizontally.

You can see the fine detail of the advanced tiger stripe on the top:

IMG_4369I then swirled on a diagonal one way and then the other way with a toothpick (close up):

IMG_4380Embeds added:IMG_4387

 

 

The Cut:

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Some weird faces and designs showed up in the soaps:

 

Conclusions:
I’m not that thrilled with this soap – I over-swirled and am dissatisfied with the results. Also, the Orange Peel FO isn’t as strong of an orange scent as the straight 10X Orange essential oil, and it has a hint of sharpness/bitterness to it (or that’s from the Cranberry.)

I’m also unhappy with the cranberry scent, which I feel isn’t as true of a cranberry as I would like. It could be that my FO is old, but I would like to find a stronger, berry scent. (I thought of adding a hint of Red Berry Rhubarb for more berry and should have.)

Pumpkin Lager Beer Soap, layered with mica lines, tiger swirl, and pumpkin soap embeds on top

I have made a Pumpkin Lager beer soap a few times (see last year’s blog here) and really love the fragrance, but it has been discontinued and will I need to look for a new one, as this will be the last of the FO. This is the first time soaping with other than home made dark beer. I used Dave’s Pale Ale beer and really liked the lighter color (which came through in the middle of this soap, as the FO discolors dark brown).

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Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Pumpkin Lager FO: A discontinued scent, but wonderful, with pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and rum. CP: Accelerates trace, discolors to dark brown, 6% Vanilla.
Pumpkin Soufflé: This fragrance starts off with robust notes of walnut, pecan, and espresso. The middle note comes through with a scent reminiscent of fresh cooked pumpkin and caramel. The fragrance finishes with a base note of ginger, cinnamon and all spice. CP: Discolors dark brown, mild acceleration; (review says accelerates badly).

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold, 48 oz + 4 oz pumpkin embeds on top
3 oz FO (had 2.65 oz Pumpkin Lager and added .35 oz Pumpkin Soufflé)
3 Layers, with a dusting of copper mica in between each.
Middle layer tiger swirl.
Frozen beer & distilled water: 12 oz can Dale’s Pale Ale with alcohol cooked out = 8 oz.
Gold, Copper, & Cappuccino brown mica oils on top.

Master batch #8 oils: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Frozen Beer 8 oz + 3 oz Frozen Distilled water: (1.54 oz disc; 12.3% disc): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in lye liquid)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Oat Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/ 3oz FO:
Bottom layer:
18 oz natural (will discolor dark brown), 1.8 oz FO
BB Copper Mica Line
Middle layer (16 oz):
8 oz MM Clementine orange, .25 oz NG VS
8 oz CC Yellow Locking Mica, .25 oz NG VS
BB Copper Mica Line
Top layer:
14 oz natural (will discolor dark brown), 1.2 oz FO
Top with leftover yellow & orange batter and added drops of Gold, Copper & Cappuccino brown mica oils, and swirl.
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesales Supplies Plus, NG = Natures Garden; VS = Vanilla Stabilizer)

 

The Reality:
The alcohol in the beer needs to be cooked out or they lye could volcano when you add it to the beer. I cooked this down and ended up with about 8 oz, then froze it.

I soaped with 90F lye liquid and 108F oils, using a strainer to pour the lye beer through. Surprisingly the strainer caught some hard bits – possibly undissolved lye (which rarely happens).

I stick blended (using an immersion blender) to emulsified, then separated out the batter. I mixed up the first layer with FO and got some light acceleration, pouring it into the mold and dusting with copper mica.

When it was thick enough to hold the next layer, I poured a tiger stripe with the yellow & orange, followed by another copper mica line and the final layer. I added leftover orange & yellow on top with gold, copper, and brown mica oils and swirled.

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Look at how the gold & copper mica oils sparkle in the wet soap:

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I was ready to stop right there with the design, but since I had made embeds, I dusted them with copper mica and put them on top:

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The Cut:
Before the top & bottom layers turned dark brown from the FO:

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After The Cure:

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I love the dark, rich swirls on top:

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Conclusions:
I had hoped that the top layer would be a lighter brown, using only 2/3 of the FO as in the bottom layer, but both are equally dark. There is not as much definition between the yellow & orange in the middle layer as I would have liked, but this soap smells amazing. I will miss this lovely FO, as it has been discontinued and this was the last of it that I had.

The mica oil swirls on top are really beautiful and did not need embeds to detract from that, however the pumpkins are cute.

 

Caramel Macchiato Milk & Cream Soap with Coffee Bean impression mat

I love coffee soap – it’s my favorite and I make single bars with leftover soap all the time – just for me. Sadly, it’s not very popular, but I make it occasionally anyway – each time trying a different scent blend that I hope will be more of a winner. (See previous coffee themed blogs here and here).

I was excited to try out my new coffee bean impression mat too.

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Description of Bramble Berry and Natures Garden Fragrance oils:
BB Espresso: This comforting and familiar scent smells just like that good ol’ cup a Joe. The fragrance entices the senses with opening notes of bitter-sweet chocolate, coconut, and almond. Middle notes of honey and caramel while finishing off with notes of roasted coffee bean and burnt sugar. CP: Discolors dark brown. 3.5% Vanilla.
BB Chipotle Caramel: A sweet, creamy caramel, with notes of vanilla & nut; livened up with chipotle, cinnamon, clove & a surprising note of pimento. CP: discolors dark tan to brown/caramel; 3% Vanilla. Loses some buttery notes, fades a bit.
NG Caramel: A buttery, toffee caramel aroma. CP: discolors to dark tan, 2.6% Vanilla. Perfect pour, no ricing, no acceleration. Reviews: true scent; very light, soaps great.

I had made several test soaps adjusting the amount of FO, as well as the ratio and it was very difficult to get the scent of the Caramel to show up. Both are described as very light, which is why I used so much.

 

The Plan:
9-bar mold with coffee bean impression mat, 51 oz soap
FO’s: 1.25 oz Espresso (used (1.3 oz), 1.25 oz Caramel (used (1.5 oz), 1.25 oz Chipotle Caramel (used (1.5 oz)

Master batch #8 oils: 38 oz Oils + 1.52 oz Coffee Butter (3.8%) (Makes 56 oz soap) 3.5 lb
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
Coffee Butter: 1.52 oz/43 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.61 oz / 159 grams
Frozen Milk & Cream and Frozen Distilled Water: (2.04 oz disc; 15.6% disc): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Oat Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace) (used 16 grams to finish off)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace) (use only 6 grams)

Batter/Color/FO:
1st layer: 17 oz Cappuccino mica, BB .75 oz Espresso FO & .5 oz Chipotle Caramel
2nd layer: 17 oz TD white, 1.25 oz NG Caramel FO with .85 oz NG VS
3rd layer: 17 oz Cappuccino mica, .5 oz Espresso FO & .75 oz Chipotle Caramel

 

The Reality:
Soaped the lye and oils at 87F and 109F – a wider temperature range than I wanted, as I try to keep them within 10F degrees, and at the most up to 20F degrees. I had taken out the frozen milk & cream and distilled water 15 min before using, but it wasn’t enough time to warm then sufficiently.

Stick blended to emulsified (using an immersion blender), separated out the batter and made some embeds with the extra batter before moving on to the main soap. Mixed up the first layer and poured. It was very fluid, so I put the mold into the refrigerator for 5 minutes while I prepared the second layer.

Here’s when I started changing things up a bit. I was originally going to use gold mica in this batter, to come up with a caramel-like color for the middle. However I realized that I had also been thinking about a white/cream color (like milk in coffee), with the third layer being caramel colored. So I mixed up the white and poured it, put in the fridge for 5 minutes to set, but when I took it out, and I could see how much it was more of a cream caramel color, due to the milk & cream and coffee butter in the batter (it did turn back to more of a white).

I had added gold mica (beige) in the third container for a caramel look, and realized it would be too close to the color in the middle, so I went back to my original colors, added brown mica and poured the 3rd layer.

I put in the dividers and the soap went into the refrigerator to prevent gel, so that the milks would not heat up and scorch.

 

The Cut:

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Version 2

 

 

 

Conclusions:
I Love the look of the coffee bean impression and each time I glance at the soap I want to take a bite of it! I really like the dark, crisp brown on the top with the contrasting coffee bean design.

The layers are not perfect, and I had to shave a lot off the sides to get a crisp look (as adding the dividers, pulled down & muddied the colors.) Next time it would be better to skip the dividers and cut these by hand after un-molding.

Gingerbread Man Goat’s Milk Soap with Cp embeds on top, in drop & hanger swirls

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Description of Bramble Berry Gingersnap FO: 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. CP: 4.1% Vanilla, discolors to med to dark brown, some acceleration (got no acceleration).

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold, 48 oz + 5.6 oz embeds on top (2 per bar: 1 red with silver mica dust, 1 white with gold mica dust = 18 total)
Drop swirl & Hanger swirl
Silver & Brown mica oil swirls on top

Master batch #8 oils: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Frozen Goats Milk & Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc; 12.3% disc): 11 oz / 312 grams (8 oz GM, 3 oz water)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in lye liquid)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/ 3 oz FO:
24 oz BB Cappuccino Mica, 2 oz FO
6 oz TKB #30 True Red, .4 oz FO with .4 oz NG Vanilla Stabilizer
6 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow, .2 oz FO with .2 oz VS
6 oz BB Tangerine Wow .4 oz FO with .4 oz VS
6 oz TD White No FO with .2 oz VS
(BB = Bramble Berry, TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide, NG = Natures Garden; VS = vanilla stabilizer)

 

The Reality:
A week earlier, I made red and white embeds with CP soap, dusting the red ones with silver mica and the white ones with gold mica.

I had mixed up a 2/3 batch of powdered Goat’s Milk in Distilled water, then froze it. But I wanted a 1:1 batch of Goat’s Milk to water, so I used the 2/3 batch I froze and added 3 oz of frozen distilled water, which roughly gave me half of the full strength Goat’s Milk and half water. (I am finding out that this seems to be the best working combination, so next time I mix up a batch of Goat’s Milk I need to dilute it even more to this strength.)

I added 83F lye liquid to 98F oils, stick blending until emulsified, and let it thicken to light trace before soaping. This seems to work best for me, because if I mix to light trace, it keeps thickening on it’s own (due to the immersion blender disturbing the molecules). It had been a year since I used this FO and was unsure if I would get any acceleration (I got just a tiny bit).

Poured all the light brown batter, then drop swirled all the other colors in this order: red, white, orange, & yellow. Then hanger swirled circular and vertically, added two lines of each color on top, plus some mica oil lines and swirled:

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I had to wait a bit before it was thick enough to hold the embeds, then submerged two embeds into each bar, dusting with fine iridescent glitter:

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Photo taken before dusting with fine iridescent glitter

 

The Cut:
All the light brown areas will turn a dark brown:

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After Curing:

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Conclusions:
I like these little gingerbread men and think they are a fun top to add, although half of the body is submerged into the soap. I am also pleased that there are so many colors and that the brown does not dominate the soaps, but I could use a little more white next time or maybe make a brown gingerbread man instead of white.

 

 

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Milk & Cream Soap with cp chocolate chip embeds on top

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Description of Bramble Berry Scents:
Mint Chocolate Chip FO:
Just like a bowl of Chocolate Chip Mint Ice cream; with a scent of Pure Cane Sugar, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Truffle, Crème de Menthe, Peppermint Candy and Vanilla Brulee. It’s all rounded out with Tonka Bean, Musk and a hint of Butterscotch. CP: great, discolors dark brown/ black (8% Vanilla). Strong. Some acceleration/ thickening after a while.
Peppermint 2nd Distill EO: Smells like a more traditional mint smell – candy cane scent. CP: Water White.

 

The Plan:
9-bar mold, 50.3 oz soap + 1.7 oz chocolate chip embeds
2.5 oz Mint Chocolate Chip FO & .5 oz 2nd Distill Peppermint EO
3 layers with white gold mica line in between layers
Pour off extra batter for making embeds

Master batch Oils #8: 44 oz Oils (Makes 62 oz soap)
MB Oils: 44 oz/ 1247 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.27 oz / 178 grams
Frozen Milk & Cream: (2.52 oz disc; 17.35% disc): 12 oz / 340 grams (3 oz frozen distilled water & 9 oz frozen Half & Half)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 12 grams (in lye liquid)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Oat Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/FO:
20 oz Bottom: BB Cappuccino Mica with 1.8 oz MCC FO
BB White Gold Mica Line
18 oz Middle: MM Mint Green, .7 oz MCC FO & .1 oz P EO with .7 oz VS
BB White Gold Mica Line
14 oz Top: TD White .4 oz P EO with splash VS & green & brown chocolate chips
(BB = Bramble Berry; MM= Mica’s & More; MMC= mint chocolate chip fo, P=peppermint 2nd distill eo, VS=Natures Garden vanilla stabilizer).

 

The Reality:
I had a lot of embeds to make for upcoming projects, so I got a variety of colors and molds ready for that first. (Note to self: plan all holiday soaps in mid-summer and make cp embeds then, as I’ve been “making them on the fly,” which feels a bit rushed and disorganized.)

I used 3 oz of frozen distilled water and added that to 9 oz of frozen Half & Half (milk & cream). After adding the NaOH to it, the highest temp it got was 93F. After adding the Sodium Lactate, I combined 90F lye liquid to 95F oils. All the milk fat in the lye liquid started the process of saponification, so it was difficult to get it through a strainer (adding some of the soaping oils to it helped). This has further convinced me to use milks and water at a 1:1 ratio for a smoother batter.

I stick blended to emulsified (using an immersion blender), and separated out my batter, getting to work on my delicate embeds – with such thin batter, this worked out well.

I then proceeded on to my main batter, which was at a thin trace, and mixed up only the first layer – incorporating a little bit of brown mica for color (until the FO discolors it), then used a fine tea strainer to dust on a layer of white gold mica. It was too thin to add another layer, so I put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

That worked great, and was ready for the mint green color, which I had mixed up with the FO & Vanilla Stabilizer. Just on a whim, I added a tiny bit (.1 oz) of Peppermint 2nd distill essential oil, as it seemed like I couldn’t detect any mint from the Mint Chocolate Chip FO. Repeated what I did in the first layer – dusting white gold mica on top and putting in the fridge for 10 minutes.

For the last layer I mixed in an additional .4 oz Peppermint 2nd distill essential oil, which seemed overwhelmingly strong and I questioned if this “spur of the moment” decision was the right one.

I tried adding some texture on top, with not much success, so I put in the dividers and continued on, randomly plopping 7 chocolate chip embeds on top of each bar. (My mold made 64 chips and I speculated on making more embeds first, but was in a bit of a hurry trying to get all my fall & holiday soaps made on my vacation.)

I had absolutely no hint of acceleration with this FO. I put in the refrigerator for 24 hours before un-molding.

 

The Un-molding/Cut:

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IMG_2092I dusted the tops with silver mica using a powder spray bottle (purchased at Qosmedix here). I like this applicator in that I can easily direct the spray, getting it where I want it to go, without excess mess everywhere.

 

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It’s difficult to see the white textured tops in the photos, but the shine from the silver mica dusting helps accentuate it:

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Besides trimming the corners of each bar, I also had to plane the sides where the dividers pulled down the soap and distorted the layered look and mica lines:

 

Conclusions:
I am so frustrated with my middle layer of mint green. I used that exact color for making the mint chocolate chip embeds and they came out a true mint green. However, the green in this soap turned out very, very yellow. As it’s been curing, it has morphed into more of a green, but still has a lot of yellow in it and does not match the embeds. (I can only speculate that the yellowing is from the cream). It doesn’t look minty to me, which I find very disappointing.

At first, I thought I over did the peppermint essential oil, as it smelled more minty than chocolate – however it has calmed down a bit and the depth and warmth of the chocolate is now coming through.

Almond Confetti Goat’s Milk soap with avocado, cocoa, & shea butters, plus extracts

I made this soap before (See Blog here), but it got quite dark – almost a light brown, from the discoloration of the fragrance oil. I wanted to add some vanilla stabilizer to this batch to keep it a lighter color so that the colors in the confetti would pop.

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Description of Bramble Berry Almond Cybilla FO: A very real smelling almond – smooth and crisp, sweet & true almond scent. CP: Behaves well, discolors chocolate brown, 4% Vanilla.

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold, 52 oz.
1.5 oz Almond Cybilla FO
2 layers – 52 oz total: 42 oz soap batter + 10 oz confetti
5 oz confetti each layer with 21 oz soap = 26 oz per layer
Pour off extra batter for embeds
Texture top? (didn’t work, used white gold mica dusting instead)

Master batch Oils #8: 46 oz Oils (Makes 64 oz soap)
MB Oils: 46 oz/ 1304 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.55 oz / 186 grams
Frozen Goat’s Milk: (3.18 oz disc; 21% disc): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 13 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 13 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 13 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Oat Extract (1%): 13 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/1.5 oz FO:
TD White with 1 oz of BB Vanilla Stabilizer
2 layers, 26 oz each: 21 oz soap + 5 oz soap scraps
1st layer: brown, black, red, blue soap shavings
2nd layer: pink, purple, light green, & yellow soap scraps

 

The Reality:
I used 8.65 oz of Frozen Goat’s Milk with the rest Frozen Distilled water. From the last soap I made, I discovered that 1:1 of milk & water seems to make a smoother bar of soap. I used slightly more Goat’s Milk in this batch just to finish it off.

I soaped at 93F degree lye and 107F oils; stick blended to emulsified (using an immersion blender) and measured out my batter. This worked great, as I had a lot of tiny embeds to make and was able to accomplish that with a very thin batter, while my main batch sat and thickened a bit.

I then switched to making the Confetti soap, which was very straight forward: adding TD to each container, then half of the FO in each with some Vanilla Stabilizer. (I used the Bramble Berry version, as it seems much milder than the Natures Garden one – however the BB VS will only stave off the discolor for 6-9 months.)

I waited a while for the top to set up to texture it, but with all the confetti the texturing did not work well, so I switched to dusting it with a new BB white-gold mica.

I put the soap in the freezer for 6 hours to prevent overheating and gelling, then transferred it to the fridge until the next morning.

 

The Cut:

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The beauty of the white gold mica dusting on top of the soaps is difficult to capture in photos

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Conclusions:
I’m not sure why I didn’t use Natures Garden Vanilla Stabilizer for CP. I think that would work much better next time, as the soap is already turning to a light beige color. I could easily go with only 1 oz of FO too – as this scent is strong, and even less soap shavings.