Lavender Lemongrass Peppermint Pink Himalayan Salt Soap (6 with white plane embeds)

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Essential Oils:
BB & 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.
18 bar mold: 86 oz soap, 28 oz salt, & 3 oz embeds (6 embeds – rest of bars embed free)
(4:1.5:1.5) EO Blend Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint.

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
1:1 Aloe Juice & Distilled Water: (2.8 oz/14% disc): 17 oz/482 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (2%): 34 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 28 oz (by weight)

Essential Oil Blend (4:1.5:1.5) = 7 oz:
4 oz Lavender (1:1 BB & BA)
1.5 oz Lemongrass
1.5 oz Peppermint

86 oz Batter/Colors/28 oz PH Salt; 7 oz EO’s:
21.5 oz TD White, 7 oz PH Salt
21.5 oz BB Caribbean blue, 7 oz PH Salt
21.5 oz BB Aqua pearl mica, 7 oz PH Salt
21.5 oz BB Radiant Plum mica, 7 oz PH Salt
(28.5 batter total each container, including salts)
Add EO Blend into all of batter, then divide.
Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add Airplane Embeds on top of 6 bars.
CPOP 6 hours, un-mold.

The Reality:

I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 90F & 95F, stick blending (using an immersion blender); then adding the essential oil blend and stick blending a little more. The salt soap seems to always be very fluid and takes a long time to come to a light trace where it is pourable without getting muddied. But that was not the case this time. Blending a bit longer and the fragrance accelerating were both contributing factors.

By the time I had divided up the batter to add coloring, it was already thick. I quickly added colors (mixing the white last, as titanium dioxide tends to thicken a bit more.) Then added the salt, which usually thins the batter out, but it only helped a tiny bit this time. So the process turned into globing lines of color in the mold and banging it down frequently. It was frustrating and disappointing.

I then did a starburst swirl and a circle swirl with a thin chopstick and pounded down the mold some more, added the dividers, and put the six airplane embeds in the 2 middle bars and the four corner bars, as I figured they would be the lightest bars.

I spritzed with 91% Isopropyl alcohol, then sprinkled fine iridescent glitter on top; put in a 150F preheated oven, turned it off for 3 hours, brought back up to heat, then off again for 3 hours. Then un-molded when still slightly warm.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

Obviously next time I need to add the scent blend before doing any stick blending – and blending until just emulsified. If no acceleration from the fragrances, I can blend a little longer or just wait for it to set up to the desired consistency (which is what I usually do).

Despite the difficulties I had making this soap, I think it turned out really nice.

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

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Pineapple Cilantro: 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: 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: 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

18 bar mold.
Lines of color, starburst and circle swirl with plumeria flower 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)
Aloe Extract (2%): 34 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/EO-FO/ 28 oz PH Salt:
22 oz TKB #10 Lake Yellow & TKB Shimmer Lemon Pop yellow 1.5 oz Pineapple FO, + 7 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Sunset & Neon Orange, 1.5 oz 10X Orange EO, + 6 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Hydrated Green Chrome Oxide, 1.25 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, + 6 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Radiant Plum, 0.75 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, + 3 oz PH Salt
10 oz MM Pink Lemonade, 1 oz Yuzu FO, + 3 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Caribbean Blue, 1 oz Yuzu FO, + 3 oz PH Salt

Use 111 oz batter.
Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 3 oz embeds on top.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(Extra batter in single & sample molds)
(BB = Bramble Berry; MM + Mica’s & More; TKB = TKB Trading)

The Reality

I soaped the lye and oils at 90F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing up the batter, I colored, added fragrance, then mixed in fine pink himalayan salt. The batter was very fluid and stayed that way throughout the process.

I poured lines of color, then made a starburst swirl and a circle swirl with a small chopstick; added the dividers and the embeds, spritzed with fine iridescent glitter, then put in a pre-heated 150F oven, left it off for 3 hours, then turned back on to bring up to temperature and waited another 3 hours before removing and un-molding.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

Everything worked very well with making this beautiful soap and I was really pleased with the outcome.

Sweet Meyer Lemon Blackberry soap in diaginal layer with yellow heart tube embed

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Sweet Meyer Lemon: 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: 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)
Black Tea: Smoky tea leaves with tobacco overtones; top notes of Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, & orange; jasmine, cedar wood, amber, musk. CP: No discolor.

The Plan:

5 lb mold – 1.6 Yellow Heart Tube embeds
Yellow on bottom angle (weigh soap container before & after pouring)
Queens Purple on top with 1 Fat & 0.6 Skinny Yellow Heart Tubes
Use 78 batter. Pour off extra 20 oz for embeds (11 oz for heart tubes)

Master Batch Oils #20: 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
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)
Avocado Extract (1%): 20 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

FO Blend (5.2 oz FO):
1 oz Black Tea
2.2 oz Sweet Meyer Lemon
2 oz Blackberry Cybillia (used 2.05 oz)
0.8 oz Vanilla Stabilizer (used 0.85 oz)

78 oz Batter/Colors/FO Blend (5.2 FO + 0.75 oz VS = 5.95 oz Blend)
1st Layer:
43 oz TKB #10 Lake Yellow & BB Fizzy Lemonade yellow, 3.3 oz FO/VS blend
(Pour off 1 oz before adding FO)
2nd Layer:
35 oz BB Queens Purple, 2.65 oz FO/VS blend
1 Yellow Fat Heart Tube & 0.6 Skinny Heart Tube Embed (7.35 oz)

Pour off 1 oz of yellow before adding FO.
1st layer at an angle, let set. (First weigh bowl with batter, pour & re-weigh to get right amount of soap into mold.)
After set, pour half of purple, add embed, pour rest.
Top with 1 oz of yellow soap and swirl.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

The Reality:

I soaped the lye and oils at 84F & 90F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing up, coloring, and adding the fragrance blend, I stick blended the yellow again, weighed the container, poured the yellow into the mold that was set at about a 45 degree angle, then weight the soap container again. I add a few more ounces of batter, then let it set.

When the soap in the mold was set, I tipped it back down and added some purple batter, then the yellow heart tube embed and more purple batter. Topped with 1 oz of yellow soap and swirled with a chop stick.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

In hindsight, it would have been better to have a thinner yellow batter, so when I added a little extra it would have spread out more evenly for a straighter line. Also, I should have added less purple soap before setting the yellow heart tube mold inside, as it turned out very close to the top of the bar. And thirdly, instead of putting some yellow soap on top, using yellow or gold mica oil and purple mica oil would make the top really pop.

The switch to Queens Purple mica for coloring really helped this – although the yellow in the fragrance oil still discolored the purple a bit. The #10 Lake Yellow color was also a much nicer yellow (although I used the last of what I had, so will have to come up with another plan next time). The yellow heart tube embed seems to look better than when I had the colors reversed and using a purple heart tube embed.

Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower, Ruby Red Grapefruit Chrysanthemum, and Gardenia Chrysanthemum soaps

Description of Bramble Berry & NDA FO/EO’s:
BB 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).
BB 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.
NDA Rube Red Grapefruit FO: This juicy, ruby red grapefruit scent will make your mouth water. Top notes of pink grapefruit, lemons and limes melds into notes of gardenia, lilac, powder and vanilla.CP: no issues.
BB Gardenia FO: Main note of Gardenia, with hints of rose & orchid to accentuate and make it deeper & more complex. CP: Accelerates trace, & gets lumpy. Added: Mix and pour immediately, only use for layered soap.

The Plan

77 oz Batter for multiple projects.
Use 30 oz for Sunshine Orange Yuzu in sunflower molds, with brown eye, yellow petals, rest orange.
Use 15 oz for Ruby Red Grapefruit in Chrysanthemum mold, with Clyde slide swirl & pour.
Use 15 oz for Gardenia in Chrysanthemum molds, with Clyde slide swirl & pour.
Pour off 17 oz for heart tube embeds & Plumeria embeds

Master batch Oils #20: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

For Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflowers: (30 oz Batter/Colors/ 2.5 oz FO/EO) (used 3 oz FO/EO)
EO/FO Blend: 1.5 oz Orange (used 0.5 Orange Peal FO; 0.4 oz 5x Orange eo; 0.6 10x Orange) + 1.5 oz Yuzu FO
.25 oz BB Cappuccino brown mica
14 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade, BB Yellow Mica, CC Banana yellow (may only need 8 oz), 1.5 oz EO/FO
16 oz BB Nuclear orange, 1.5 oz EO/FO
Color soap before adding EO to make sure to get the right color.
Dark Brown for the eye of the flower (use pipet) – put in fridge to set.
Yellow for the petals – put in fridge to set.
Orange for rest of soap.

For Gardenia Chrysanthemums: (15 oz Batter/Colors/ 1 oz FO) (Make First: Accelerates)
7 oz BB Hydrated Green Chrome oxide
8 oz TD White.
Clyde slide pour and swirl.

For Ruby Red Grapefruit Chrysanthemums: (15 oz Batter/Colors/ 1.3 oz FO) (used 0.9 Ruby Red & 0.4 Grapefruit fo)
4 oz BB Red Mica
4 oz MM Pink Lemonade
7 oz TD White
Clyde slide pour and swirl.

The Reality

I soaped the lye & oils at 81F & 95F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I had wanted to start this as cool as possible (for the Gardenia FO), but got my oils too hot to make that happen (I should have put the container in the fridge for awhile.)

The plan was to make the Gardenia Chrysanthemums first, as my notes say that the fragrance accelerates trace. But I got distracted with making a few embeds that the batter seemed perfect for. And then I colored a little soap brown for the center of the sunflower…and while I was at it, added the yellow and orange for the rest of the sunflower batter, then used some orange for birds in a single mold.

The soap was still fine, just not as thin as if I would have used it immediately. But when I added the Gardenia FO, it got really thick and lumpy. I attempted to use a tiny blender to mix out the lumps, but that seemed to just make it thicker. And I also eye-balled the pour of the fragrance in the white and green, but I should have weighed it out, as the green got much thicker than the white.

I attempted a Clyde Slide pour, but was quickly thwarted and realized I needed to get this soap in the molds immediately, or I would have “soap on a stick.”

It was easy-peasy with the Grapefruit and Sunflower soaps after that!!

The Cut

Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soap
Ruby Red Grapefruit Chrysanthemum soap
Gardenia Chrysanthemum Soap

Conclusions:

It had been almost 3 years since I made Gardenia soap, and I just made one to test it. Too long ago to take my notes of acceleration and lumpiness extremely serious. I should have had notes of “mix and pour immediately. Use only for layered soap.” Or something with exclamation points on it – to take it more earnestly. (Living Dangerous in soap making!!)

I knew that the batter for the Grapefruit was a little thin, but I didn’t want to wait too long for it to get to the exact consistency, as I needed time to add all the layers on the Sunflower soap. So the Clyde Slide swirl was a little muddied, and the distinct colors of light pink, dark pink, and white did not come through on all the bars. But is still looks and smells lovely.

Choices always have to be made when making several different soaps from the same batter. I think in the end, these all came out looking lovely and smelling awesome!

POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu soap – with drop and horizontal hanger swirl

POGY: Description of fragrances:
Pineapple Cilantro: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach color.
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: 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: 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

Make 70 oz soap, pour off 18 oz for embeds
Use 52 oz in 3 lb silicone mold for POGY

Master batch Oils #20: 50 oz Oils (Makes 70 oz /4.4 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.05 oz / 200 grams
Distilled Water: (2.77 oz disc/ 17.6 %): 13 oz / 369 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

POGY Scent Blend: 3.4 oz Total: (Keep Separate – do not blend!!)
1.0 oz Pink Grapefruit (water white)
1.1 oz Yuzu (water white)
0.55 oz Pineapple (slight peach discolor)
0.75 oz NDA 5x Orange (discolor orange)

3 lb mold – 52 oz batter/colors/3 oz EO/FO:
31 oz TD white, 0.8 oz Yuzu, 0.75 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Raspberry Red, 0.3 oz Yuzu, 0.25 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe (turns yellow), 0.75 oz Orange
7 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow & BB Yellow Mica, 0.55 oz Pineapple
Color soap before adding EO to make sure you get the right color.
Drop & hanger swirl.

The Reality:

I soaped my lye and oils at 91F &101F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). The batter was pretty thin, but it had been quite a while since I made soap and I tend to over stick blend, so I was very aware and cautious to avoid doing that, with much success.

While waiting for the main batter to thicken, I tested some fragrances – one riced and accelerated and the other just accelerated, so this worked perfectly, as the batter was too thin to do anything else with it.

When the main soap was thick enough, I colored it and added the fragrance, which reversed trace and gave me just enough time to make some tube embeds.

I poured over half the white into the mold, then dropped swirled some colored batter, added the rest of the white, and finished with more drop swirls. I then did a horizontal hanger swirl and vertical hanger (for just one pass up and down.) Topped with lines of colored soap and figure eights with a thin chop stick, then zig-zagged lengthwise and sprinkled fine iridescent glitter on top.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This worked exceptionally well – everything was timed perfectly and all the embeds, test soaps, samples and individual soaps came out extremely well.

They look lovely and smell amazing.

Christmas Spice Soap in tiger and vertical hanger swirls

Description of Bramble Berry Christmas Spice Fragrance: Perfect for the spice-lover on your list, with top notes of Orange and Lemons, and a middle full of enticing fragrances such as Cinnamon, Mocha, Thyme and Nutmeg; cooling down to a sweet note of Candied Ginger & Cinnamon Sugar – like a warm, sweet smelling kitchen. CP: Discolors brown 2% Vanilla. Accelerates trace. A very lightly, spicy fragrance. Use 1.33 oz per pound.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 52 oz batter.
Tiger pour & vertical zig-zag hanger swirl.
Soap Very Cool to help minimize acceleration.
Pour off 25 oz extra batter for Snowflake and sample soaps.

Master batch Oils #20: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

52 oz Batter/Color/4 oz FO + 2 oz VS (6 oz blend):
26 oz TD White
6.5 oz BB Bubblegum Pink (should turn red)
6.5 oz BB Red Mica mica
6.5 oz MM Hunter Green mica (dark green)
6.5 oz CC Apple Green (Light green)
Alternate white with each color down middle of loaf for tiger pour.
Zig-zag (skinny) vertical hanger swirl.
Top with lines of colors and swirl with toothpick.
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

The Reality:


I soaped the lye and oils at 86F & 90F, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender). I divided up all the batter and colored it. With the extra soap I made two different Snowflake soaps (four of each of Lingonberry Spice and Gingerbread Cookie), using the Clyde Slide pour – while checking on my main batter frequently.

I was fortunate enough that when I finished the snowflakes, the rest of the soap was almost thick enough to use. I added the fragrance blend and it thickened up slightly, for a perfect pour. I did a tiger swirl, alternating each of the colors with white, pouring down the middle of the loaf mold until complete.

Then I used a skinny hanger and pulled & pushed it through the mold numerous times (7 total?). After adding some lines of colored batter on top, I swirled with a chopstick, then spritzed fine iridescent glitter and Isopropyl Alcohol (several times to prevent ash.)

I put in a dedicated soaping room and covered with a towel for a few hours, then removed it. I wanted to start the gel process, but did not want it to overheat (which happened last time with this fragrance and Vanilla Stabilizer.)

The Cut:

Conclusions:


The acceleration was interesting with this fragrance. I first got a slight acceleration, which worked in my favor as it made the batter the perfect consistency for this pour. Then the soap started ricing a bit, which I hand mixed out before each pour. When I was almost finished with the tiger pour, the batter started to reverse trace and was very, very thin.

But the soaps turned out lovely, as well as all the snowflake soaps (which you can see here).

Gold Frankincense and Myrrh Goat Milk soap in drop and hanger swirls with mp dove embeds on top

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
BB Frankincense & Myrrh Cybilla: Warm and sensual, a wonderful exotic scent. CP: Discolors brown, 2% Vanilla. scent lightens in CP as it cures.
BB Amber FO: A base note that adds a sophisticated structure to fragrance blends. This Amber blend also contains notes of Vanilla, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Musk. CP: Discolors brown, 3.2% Vanilla. May Accelerate.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 48 oz soap + 18 dove embeds (3.3 oz)
2 oz Frankincense & Myrrh (FM), 1 oz Amber (A)
Drop & hanger swirls
Top with 18 gold dove MP embeds (2 on each bar).
Pour off 29 oz extra batter for special projects.

Master batch Oils #19: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
1:1 Frozen Goat Milk & Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

48 oz Batter/Color/ FO’s: 2 oz (FM), 1 oz (A) 1.75 VS:
19 oz BB Activated Charcoal Black, 0.75 oz FM & 1 oz A
5 oz Natural (will discolor Brown), 0.5 oz FM
6 oz TD White, no FO, 0.5 VS
10 oz TKB #30 True Red, 0.75 oz FM, 0.75 oz VS
8 oz TKB Lemon Yellow; BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow Locking Mica, no FO, 0.5 VS
Drop swirl colors into Black, then hanger swirl vertically & horizontally.
Top with black & 2 Gold MP Doves on top of each bar (3+ oz)
Put in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds & milks from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide; VS = Vanilla Stabilizer)

The Reality:


I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I did find 2 tiny pieces of goat milk. I soaped the lye and oils at 86F & 90F, stick blending until barely emulsified (using an immersion blender) – then hand stirring a little bit to emulsified. (Milks tend to speed up trace, as well as a cool environment, and the house was at 65F.)

I separated out all my batter and colored each. The first thing I made was some embeds and 6 Snowflake soaps, plus a few sample soaps, using the clyde slide swirl.

By then my batter was a tiny bit thicker than I had wanted, but after adding the fragrance oils, it was perfect. I poured all the black and then drop swirled the colors in several times. I then used a gear tie to hanger swirl horizontally 3-4 times and vertically 3-4 times.

I let it set for a few minutes before spritzing embeds with Isopropyl Alcohol and placing them on top. I neglected to save enough black batter to cover the top completely, so there were a few places where the colors peaked out from under the doves.

I put in a dedicated soaping refrigerator for 24 hours to prevent gelling and overheating the milks or melting the glycerin soaps. I then waited an additional day to un-mold and 2 more days before cutting.

The Cut:

Conclusions:


This soap came together nicely. I had made a tiny star tube embed, but put so much soap into the mold that there wasn’t room for it. I was unsure whether to include it anyway, as I didn’t was to disturb the design or make it too chaotic looking.

Since I didn’t have a solid color on top (black), I dusted some gold mica on top, which I think helps make it pop.

The Snowflake soaps I made got a little muddied (See Sleigh Ride snowflake soaps here). I used red, green, & white colors, and the red & green merged too much on some of them. Next time I need to have twice as much white to separate them more. (Also, since this was the first thing I did, the batter was a little thin.) When doing two projects with one batch of soap, waiting too long can cause the second venture to get too thick to work with.

Peppermint Candy Cane Soap in tiger stripe and vertical hanger swirls with candy cane embeds on top


Description of Bramble Berry & New Directions Aromatics Essential Oils:
BB Peppermint 2nd Distill eo (P2): This smells more like a traditional mint smell, with a hint of candy canes. CP: Water White.
NDA Peppermint Supreme eo (PS): A top note with a strong aroma, Peppermint has a sharp, penetrating scent based on its high menthol content. This is on the sweeter side, like peppermint candy. CP: no info.
BB Peppermint Candy Cane fo (CC): A mix of sweet peppermint, vanilla, sugar, amber, and musk. CP: Mild Acceleration; 0% Vanilla; No D. (reviews: No A.)

The Plan:


5 lb Silicone mold with 3 oz candy cane embeds on top.
Tiger stripe pour.
15 white & 15 red CP candy canes on top.
Pour off 22 oz extra batter for 6 Snowflake soaps.

Master Batch Oils #19: 75 oz Oils (Makes 105 oz/6.6 lb soap)
MB Oils: 75 oz/ 2126 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 10.58 oz / 300 grams
Distilled Water: (4.66 oz disc/ 20% disc): 19 oz / 539 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 21 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

83 oz Batter/Colors/1.5 oz P2, 1.0 oz PS EO:
41.5 oz TD white
41.5 oz TKB #30 True Red & BB Red Mica
3 oz Embeds
Alternate white & red in tiger stripe pour.
Add 1 red & 1 white candy cane embed on top of each bar
CPOP 6 hrs

The Reality:


I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 89F, stick blending just until emulsified, (using an immersion blender), then poured off 22 oz for Snowflake individual soap molds, which I made first, adding Candy Cane FO and stick blended a bit to thicken, then dividing the batter into half red and half white.

I did a Clyde Slide pour into another container, alternating the red & white down the side until completely used up. 90 degrees from where I added the soap, I poured into the snowflake molds, producing a ribbon of red & white stripes. I added one red or white candy cane embed to the mold for a little surprise when removing the packaging.

Because the Clyde slide pour is so time consuming, the rest of my batter got too thick for a advanced tiger stripe pour (alternating colors on the side of the mold) so I did a regular tiger pour – alternating red & white down the middle of the loaf mold (lengthwise) over the previous color. When I used all the batter I did several vertical hanger swirls using a gear tie.

I finished off the top with 1 red and 1 white candy cane embed on each bar, spritzed with alcohol, then fine iridescent glitter and put in the oven for 6 hours to CPOP. (I preheated the oven to 150F, turned it off, set the mold in the middle of the oven and 3 hours, I turned it back on to bring the temperature back up to 150F, then off again for the rest of the time.)

The Cut:

Some of the Candy Cane FO Snowflake soaps:

Conclusions:


I was very surprised that the main batter thickened up so much and so quickly. Even doing the tiger stripe pour was a struggle, having to pound down the mold after every color poured so that the next one would lay on top and spread out. Very Frustrating!

I probably did too many vertical hanger swirls (5-6), as the last one came out very pink and muddied. I remembered from the last time that I did this soap there weren’t enough vertical swirls (three?) so I wanted to do more.

In hindsight, I should have skipped the Snowflake soaps and just done the main loaf, focusing on the advanced tiger stripe design. However, I’m extremely pleased and pleasantly surprised how distinct the lines are and how beautifully the soap turned out.

Woodland Elves soap in drop and vertical swirl with gold stars on top


For a few years now I had made this design with a MP tree embed and a gold star on top, but due to time constrains this year, I had to come up with a new design. I did include the gold star and gave every bar three of them.

Description of Bramble Berry Woodland Elves: 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. CP: No Discolor; Sometimes A, sometimes no A. Strong – use 1/3 of normal amount.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 50 oz batter & MP/CP gold star embeds on top (27 total, 4 oz)
Use 1 oz FO
Pour off 34 oz extra batter for snowflake soaps and holiday embeds.

Master batch Oils #19: 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)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Mallow Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

50 oz Batter/Color/1.05 oz FO:
First layer:
8 oz MM Hunter Green, 0.15 oz fo
2nd Layer:
5 oz MM Mint Green, 0.15 oz fo
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White, 0.55 oz fo
3.5 oz MM Hunter Green, 0.1 oz fo
3.5 oz MM Mint Green, 0.1 oz fo
Layer of Dark Green on bottom, Layer of Light Green; Pour all of white into mold and drop swirl both greens, then vertical ONLY hanger swirl (from bottom to top if possible – 3 times)
Swirl top with gold mica oil on the sides. Add 3 MP & CP gold stars on top (4 oz)
Put in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds from melting.
(MM = Micas & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

The Reality:


I soaped the lye & oils at 82F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender) and divided out the batter.

I mixed up the first layer with Hunter Green mica and FO, then stick blended it and poured into the mold – putting it into the refrigerator to help it set quicker (while I colored the other green batters and worked on Holiday embeds).

When the first layer was set, I added FO to the Mint Green, then poured it into the mold over a spatula, to prevent breakthrough, and put back into the refrigerator to set up. I measured the distance between the top of the green layer to the top of the mold and marked that on my hanger swirl tool (gear tie). It was between 1.5 & 1.75 inches.

When the second layer was set, I added TD white to the last container and fragrance oil to all of the jugs, hand mixed, and poured the white over a spatula into the mold, again to prevent breakthrough. I then poured the light green & dark green soap into the white from about 1-1.5 feet above, making 3 passes and two pours each to create a drop swirl. (All of these batters were a bit thick and the greens would not penetrate the white without the help of gravity).

I took the hanger and used it to swirl the colors just poured, moving it through the white vertically – going down the edge of the mold and moving up the mold 3 times, being careful not to put it in the mold below the markings.

I added some lines of colored batter on top and swirled with a thin chopstick; then put drops of gold mica on the sides and swirling through the middle of those to try to create hearts, which wasn’t very successful (not enough mica in the oil). I let it sit for a few minutes to firm up, then added gold stars so that there would be three on each bar when slicing (spritzing each with alcohol first). I had a mix of MP & CP stars. I then spritzed each star with dry gold mica to amp up the sparkle and put the mold in a dedicated soaping refrigerator so that it would not heat up & gel, which would melt the MP (glycerin) stars.

The Cut:

Some of the Holiday Candy Snowflake soaps made:

Conclusions:


I might have stick blended a couple seconds to long – to a medium emulsification, instead of just emulsified, as the soap thickened quicker than normal (the cool temperatures could have caused this too, as the house was only 65F).

I changed up this design from what I had done the last several years. Compared to last year’s soap (see blog here), which way do you like best?

I had made extra batter for Snowflake soaps, but by the time I was done with the main loaf, the rest of the soap was very thick. Mixing in mica colors in oil helped thin it out a bit, but not enough to do a clyde slide pour, so I did layers instead. (In hide site, the tops of the snowflakes were decorated in gold MP soap, so they design would probably not have shown through anyway.)

Fresh Snow Coconut Milk soap with Snowman and Snowflake Embeds

Description of Bramble Berry Fresh Snow FO: This fragrance is designed to mimic the feeling of peace and tranquility after a fresh snowfall. It is a very ozone-y fragrance, reminiscent of clean laundry or fresh cotton. The actual notes however are intriguing; crisp heliotrope, with supporting notes of spring water, juniper berry, vetyver and sandalwood. CP: NO A, D, R. Very Strong. Batter stays thin for a long time (milk helps it thicken up faster).

The Plan:


Use 5 lb mold; 62 oz batter + 24 oz embeds (snowmen tubes 20.3 oz) & CP/MP snowflakes (3.7oz)
Make 4 layers – each a different combinations of blues & whites
Add snowmen tube embed after first layer.
Top with 30 MP turquoise snowflakes & 15 Light & Dark Blue CP snowflake.
Use 2 oz FO for 5 lb, plus 0.6 oz FO for 6 Snowflake soaps.
Pour off 22 oz extra batter for Snowflake soaps (individual molds).

Master batch Oils #19: 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)
Aloe Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

62 oz Batter/Colors/2 oz FO:
14 oz BB Ultramarine Blue (dark blue)
18 oz BB Caribbean Blue (light blue)
18 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
12 oz TD White

Combine:
11 oz dark blue & 6 oz turquoise for bottom layer (clyde slide/ITP swirl)
Add Snowmen Embeds
3 oz dark blue, 8 oz light blue, 3 oz turquoise, 2nd layer layer
10 oz light blue, 6 oz turquoise, 4 oz white, 3rd layer
3 oz turquoise, 8 oz white, top layer
Top each bar with 2 MP Aqua snowflake & 1 CP Blue Snowflake.
PUT in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds from melting and milk from overheating.
NOTE: Made snowflake embeds half the thickness as last year and got the snowmen down to almost the bottom so the snowflakes fit on top better.

The Reality:


I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I did not find any. I mixed the lye and oils at 90F & 95F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), and separated out all the batter.

I colored all my main batter with the different blues and left the white for later (as titanium dioxide accelerated trace).

Since everything was very thin, I worked on making 6 snowflake soaps with the extra batter. I first added the fragrance oil and stick blended to thicken, then divided it out using the same colors as for the main batter. I did a clyde slide pour alternating the colors white, dark blue, light blue, & turquoise into the side of a separate container until all the soap was used. I then poured from the spout (90 degrees from where I added the batter) for a ribbon of colors into each mold. I added 1 MP snowflake embed on the bottom of the soap, as I had leftovers. It looks cute, and will be a fun surprise when removing the packaging.

As soon as I finished with the individual molds, the batter was thick enough to proceed on the main soap. I again did a clyde slide pour with each layer – which was a lot of work and took quite a bit of time. But the batter stayed a light to medium trace until the end, then it started to reverse trace and thin out a bit.

Each bar was topped with with 2 MP Aqua snowflakes and 1 CP blue snowflake. After spritzing with alcohol and fine iridescent glitter, I put into a dedicated soaping refrigerator to prevent the milk from overheating and the glycerine embeds from melting.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This is the most time consuming soap I create: making snowman and snowflake embeds ahead of time, then all the colors and layers involved. But the fragrance is so stable, I don’t have to worry about the batter accelerating.

It is always a joy to make, as it is so unique and my most popular holiday soap. The fragrance is so snowy, I am a bit surprised and sad that it isn’t sought after all winter long.