Peppermint Candy Canes in tiger stripe & hanger swirl, with little embeds. Plus Peppermint Snowflake soaps

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Peppermint Candy Canes and Peppermint Snowflakes

Description of Bramble Berry Peppermint 2nd Distill Essential Oil: Less herbaceous than 1st distill, this smells like a more traditional mint, with a bit of a candy cane scent. CP: Water White. No issues.

 

The Plan:
3 lb silicone mold, 50 oz soap + 2 oz Candy Cane embeds (9 white & 9 red) dusted with silver mica.
2 oz Peppermint 2nd Distill EO.
Tiger stripe with vertical zig-zag hanger swirl.
Plus: 6 individual snowflake molds (3.5 oz each, 21 oz total): 4 peppermint and 2 unscented.
71 oz total. (Leftover batter: make embeds for future projects).

Master batch Oils #8: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.84 oz / 222 grams
Distilled Water: (3.15 oz disc; 17.36% disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Colors/2 oz EO: (fill 2 snowflake soap molds before adding EO)
For Candy Cane soaps:
25 oz TD white
25 oz TKB #30 True Red
For Snowflake soaps:
10.5 oz TD white
10.5 oz TKB #30 True Red

 

The Reality:
Soaped lye liquid & oils at 114F & 110F, stick blending (with immersion blender) to emulsified. Divided batter and poured off extra soap for embeds to use in future projects.

I mixed up the colors for the Snowflake soaps and poured 2 unscented ones, alternating the white & red. I added the eo to the rest of the batter; it accelerated and got lumpy – a first for this essential oil. Too old? Could be, the bottle was dated 2 years ago (although essential oils seem to last several years).

I abandoned the snowflakes and quickly got started on my loaf soap, alternating the red & white in a tiger stripe, then using my skinny hanger tool to zig-zag up and down a bit. I finished off the top with some lines of color and swirled with a toothpick:

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I then added the candy cane embeds. The top set very fast, so I had to push them into the soap a bit:

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Finally, I sprinkled the top with glitter, using a powder spray bottle (found at Qosmedix here):

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I attempted to mix out the lumps in the containers for the snowflake soaps and alternated pouring them into the 4 molds – the batter was at a medium to thick trace and still lumpy.

 

The Cut:

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Unscented Snowflake soaps:

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Peppermint Snowflake soaps:

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Conclusions:
I can’t quite explain why the essential oil acted so strange – I had used it a month before with no issues. Fortunately, I was able to still pour thin enough lines and hanger swirl without too much difficulty. I love the Peppermint Candy Canes soap – they look even prettier in person than in the photos.

I think the snowflakes would look nicer with an In the Pot swirl (which is what I did the next time and they turned out great. Look for them in an upcoming blog.) I do like the striped effect on the sides of the snowflakes. Sprinkling a little dry sliver mica and iridescent glitter on top adds a little sparkle too (not easily seen in the photos).

 

 

Hollyberry soap – layers with gold mica lines and embeds on top. Plus Unscented Soap in drop & hanger swirls, with embeds on top

 

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Unscented and Hollyberry soaps

 

Hollyberry Soap

I made this soap last year and it was big trouble – the FO accelerated like crazy and my Holly swirl that I had planned turned into a hot mess. (I was lucky and got blobs in a few soaps that looked like sleighs – don’t know how I could ever do that again.) (See blog here).

So this time I was prepared for the fast movement with a simple layered soap.

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Bramble Berry Hollyberry Cybilla FO: Discontinued. This fragrance is a combination of holly (that fabulous green garland-making holiday shrub), pine, and the tart red berries that grow on the holly shrub. It also has some supporting notes of cardamon and cinnamon to give it a bit of a twist. I find this fragrance to be the scent of Christmas – with lots of cinnamon notes. CP: Discolors to golden/ orange/ peach within 8 hrs; no acceleration. (Accelerated fast last year.)

 

The Plan:
32 oz soap batter, 2 oz berries for 2 lb mold; rest of batter for 1 lb unscented soap
Soap low temps & stick blend only to emulsified to help with FO acceleration.
1.35 oz Hollyberry FO with: .1 oz Christmas spice FO, & .2 oz Burnt Sugar FO (a few leftover sample scents to boost the little Hollybery I had)
Layers: red, green, white; topped with gold & sliver mica oils swirled with toothpick.
Red Berry embeds on top; 24 berries. (use 4 on each bar)

Master batch Oils #8: 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)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Color/FO:
14 oz TKB True Red, .9 oz FO: (.6 oz HB, .1 oz Cs, .2 oz Bs) + .4 oz VS
Gold mica layer dusting
12 oz Christmas Green, .5 oz FO
Gold mica layer dusting
8 oz TD white .25 oz FO
Top with gold & silver mica oils, swirl; add 24 berries – 4 on each bar.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; Christmas Green = BB Hydrated Chrome green (teal) & BB Chrome Oxide; VS = Natures Garden Vanilla Stabilizer)

 

The Reality:
I soaped this at 99F lye water an 98F oils, stick blending (with immersion blender) to emulsified and divided out my batter. For the first layer, I mixed up red & added the FO’s & Vanilla Stabilizer and cautiously waited for the lighting fast acceleration I got last year, but it never happened. I poured the batter into the mold & dusted with gold mica, putting it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes while prepping all my other colors.

For the second layer, I stick blended the green and poured into the mold, dusting again with gold mica. This layer was thicker, so I didn’t have to put it in the refrigerator to thicken. The white batter turned very beige-orange and I puttered with that for a while trying to whiten with TD, with not much success.

After the last layer, I used a dropper bulb to make diagonal lines of gold & silver mica oils, then used a toothpick to swirl on the opposite diagonal. While waiting for this to stiffen up, I made my 1 lb loaf of unscented soap, then added 4 berries to each slice of Hollyberry soap.

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You can see some ash on the darker berries, which I steamed away after cutting:

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The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I was very surprised that the Hollyberry FO did not accelerate trace as it did last year (you can see that blog here). After pouring the first layer and dusting on the gold mica, I realized I could change my strategy and do a drop swirl and hanger swirl, but with the gold mica line already on I decided to stay with my original plan. (Although it would have been interesting to see what would happen to the dry mica after swirling inside.)

This is a very straight forward looking soap, but I love the simplicity of it and the colors & fragrance scream Christmas.

 

Unscented Soap

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Batter/Colors:
20 oz batter:
12 oz TD white
4 oz TKB True Red
4 oz Christmas Green
Drop swirl & chop stick swirl. Gold & silver mica oils on top, swirl with toothpick; add 4 red & 4 green butterflies, dusted in silver & gold mica.

 

The Reality:
The batter I saved for the unscented soap stayed at a very light trace throughout. I poured all of the white in the mold, then drop swirled layers of red & green, followed by several swirls with a chop stick.

I again added lines of gold and silver mica oils on top and swirled with a tooth pick:

IMG_3034Then I added 1 green and 1 red tiny butterfly embed on top of each of the four bars I would cut. (In this photo they look like butterflies, but to me they look more like bows):

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The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I definitely over swirled the inside of this soap, but I love the swirls on top and I think it’s wonderful to have a Christmas-looking unscented soap.

 

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.