Great Cakes Soapworks Colorant Challenge

Time again for another Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge.  This month is a colorant challenge, which I have to admit was intimidating to me!  That is one thing I am trying to learn and perfect.  So this challenge was a perfect chance to work on this skill.

For fragrance I used Bramble Berry’s Rise and Shine, one of my many favorites!

I used Bramble Berry’s Tangerine Wow for the base color. The drop swirl is Fizzy Lemonade, Ultramarine Blue with titanium dioxide from Bramble Berry and Purple Vibrance Mica from Nurture Soap Supplies.

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Now for the top:

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Here it is cut!

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All of my colors aren’t exactly how I wanted them to look.  Practice makes perfect.  I will keep working on it!!  🙂

**Sadly, my computer was having major issues and kept locking up and going very slow while I was trying to submit my soap to the challenge… so my soap was never entered.   I still enjoyed participating!  🙂

Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- The Hanger Swirl

This is my very first Soapworks Challenge.  I have viewed numerous videos made by experienced soapermakers on YouTube who were participating in the past months’ challenges.  Even though I am a newbie soaper I decided to give it a try, just for fun!  The challenge for this month is the hanger swirl.

For this challenge I used Fresh Snow fragrance oil from Brambleberry.  It reminds me of fresh, crisp, clean laundry.  I think it is a fragrance that can be enjoyed year round, not just for the winter season.  I have used it once before and it doesn’t discolor or accelerate trace so that is why I chose to use it again.  For colorants I used Brambleberry’s Electric Bubble Gum to make a light and dark pink, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium Dioxide.  This is actually my second attempt at the hanger swirl.  I didn’t love how my first soap turned out.  Hanger swirl, take two!

If you would like to watch the video version click here.

Getting started…

Here is my hanger!  I bent it to the size of my mold and attached a small dowel rod to it with electrical tape.  This would not hold up for multiple uses.   Mine came untaped soon after using it just this one time.  I need to find a better tool for future hanger swirls.

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Pouring the dark pink in the mold.  Next a layer of light pink and white.

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Here is the blue layer.  Another light and dark pink layer went on top of that.

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And now for the swirl!!  I just went up and down throughout the mold one way, and then again up and down back the other way.  You could swirl in any direction.  Side to side, around in circles, figure eight, so many options!

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Topping with the white.  Oh my goodness, I am messy!!  Slopped it right off the side. The last bit of dark pink went down the middle.  I textured the top and sprinkled with glitter.

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And here it is!  I let it rest and harden for 24hrs.

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24hrs later, it is ready to cut with my NEW cutter!  Best tool EVER!  I love that it cuts each piece the same exact size.  No more hand cutting for me!  You can get a cutter like this one on Etsy here.

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Don’t you love how each piece is unique? Here are my favorites…

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The last two pictures are below.  This soap will be ready for use in 6 weeks.  I can’t wait!  Thanks to Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks for such a fun challenge.  🙂

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Soap, Soap, Soap

Over the last several months I have been making what is called “melt and pour” soaps.  You may have seen them on the website or on Facebook or even Instagram.  Cute Soapscicles, Bonbon soaps, Petit Fours, etc.  All of those soaps are made from a soap base that I melt, then add pretty colors, add fragrance and pour it into a mold.  This is a very safe way to make soap because there is no mixing of lye which is caustic and very dangerous.  I subscribe to several different blogs which share recipes for both melt and pour and what is called “cold process” (all handmade) soap.  I loved the look of those soaps and the idea of making soap from scratch. Although the “caustic lye” part kinda made me nervous.

Early on I began to watch countless hours of videos and read as much as I possibly could about cold process soap making.  It was intriguing.  I finally decided to go ahead and give it a try so I ordered a few extra supplies that I needed and when they arrived… I still spent my time watching more and more videos.  I stayed up to all hours of the night reading and learning.  Night after night after night. Week after week.  Finally I realized that I needed to stop reading about making soap and watching other people make soap and just MAKE SOAP!!

So I did.  My first batch was very scary.  I was anxious and nervous and excited all at the same time.  But I made it through and found that I REALLY enjoyed it!  I love trying different recipes and colorants and techniques.  Now all I think about is soap.  All I want to do all day is make soap.  I am a bit obsessed but so excited to have found a new passion that I can share with you all.

I still plan to keep some of the cute melt and pour soaps.  Those Soapscicles are one of my favorites!  But now I can offer some other options as well.  Don’t you love options?  There will be something for everyone!

I plan to make some natural fragrance free soaps, like this one with made with coconut oil,

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soaps made with essential oils and natural colorants, (peppermint smells SO good!)

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and soaps that are made with wonderful smelling fragrance oils and fun colors.

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Over the last couple weeks I have made several batches of cold process soap, each a different recipe.  In 4-6 weeks these soaps will be ready for use. Yes, we have to wait 4-6 weeks… being patient for the soap to cure is the hard part!  At that time I will need some “soap testers”.  People who will try a small chunk of each soap, answer some questions and give me an honest opinion on which ones they like best and why.  I have plenty of family members who would be willing to test them but I would like for some others to test them as well.  I need 8 men and/or women.  Are you interested?  If you are, go to my Facebook page here and comment under the post that shares this blog post!  The first 8 people to comment will have the opportunity to test all the soaps and get a bar of their favorite soap as a gift from me.  Can you help me out?

Sidetracked much??

Anyone else have mornings like this…

I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher when I remembered I needed to start a load of laundry.  So I threw some clothes from the hamper into the washer but didn’t have enough for a full load.  (I never do anything but a full load!)  I headed to my bedroom to get more laundry out of my closet hamper and when I passed through the living room I noticed two dirty dishes.  I picked them up and took them to the kitchen when I realized that I never finished loading the dishwasher.   As I started to rinse the dishes that were left in the living room,  I received a text, so I picked up my phone (yes, I dried my hands), read the text, got an email, read several more emails, checked facebook super fast, and got a pop up message that someone liked one of my instagram photos. (If you have instagram come follow me here: @shoptheyum.)  I then rembered it is Throwback Thursday!   #tbt  How fun!   I set down my phone and ran downstairs to look through some old photo albums to find a cute picture to post.  So many cute ones, how do I choose?   I looked through three or four albums, awwww, I  love looking at all the old pictures of my family.  I finally found one of my son, Nate, and nephew, Trey from 10 years ago.  That will work!  I took a picture of the picture on my phone, edited and cropped it on instaframe and posted it to instagram.  DONE!   Ok… so, now what was I doing??

An hour and a half later, pretty much all I have accomplished is posting a picture to instagram.  Oh and typing this blog post.  *sigh*  I am off to go load the dishwasher.

Winter Hibernation

I can’t believe it is already February 8th.  Where did January go?  January always seems to be a hard month for me, I  want to stay the house and not leave.  I don’t know if it because December is such a busy month and I am exhausted, or if I feel some post-Christmas depression, or if it is just the fact that it’s so cold in January.  I hate getting out in the cold!  All I want to do is stay at home, keep warm, drink hot cocoa and eat unhealthy food.  I just want to hibernate!

So here is what I have been doing while in hibernation mode…

POLKA DOT SOAP

This is {supposed to be} a polka dot soap with soap frosting on top.  As you can see I obviously haven’t perfected this one yet, haha!  Not too bad for a first attempt, I guess.  Next time more polka dots, more of that bottom layer of soap and less fluffy soap on top.  It may not look pretty but it smells WONDERFUL!!  Champagne & Raspberries, super yummy!  I hope to make a better version of that soap up there and some other pretty, delicious smelling soaps to sell at events this Spring.  I am thinking about a layered birthday cake type looking soap with that fluffy soap frosting and sprinkles or glitter on top… or soap cupcakes!  What do you think?

CAKE BALLS

These soap cake balls were so much fun to make!  My sister-in-law makes and sells real, edible cake balls so I thought I would make some out of soap!  With dark chocolate fragrance oil… they smell good enough to eat!  I hope to get my hands on a few real cake balls and take pictures of them with my soap cake balls to see how much they look alike.   Be sure to check instagram and Facebook  in the upcoming week for those pictures.  These soaps are not for sale on the website.  Maybe something to add next year for Valentine’s Day!

HEART SOAP

Conversation Heart Soaps!  Each soap is about 2 oz and they are packaged two for $5, for sale on the website.   They smell just like candy!  These were a little tricky at first.  See those little words on top?  They kept getting stuck in the mold instead of on the soap.  I had some great smelling heart soaps with missing letters!  After a couple more unsuccessful tries, I finally got it to work, whew!  I made some pink hearts with white words, too.   I am happy with how they turned out, so cute!

So that is what I have been up to while hibernating the last few weeks.  My family and friends love it when I take time to try new recipes, especially when the recipes don’t turn out quite perfect.  Maybe because I give the “mistakes” to them, haha!

Are there any products you would like to see added to the product line?  Or fragrances?  I love hearing your ideas!  You can post comments here or send an email to contact@shoptheyum.com.

Typical Monday

Mondays are always more challenging than other days for some reason. I’m not sure why that is. Is it that way for everyone or just me?

I rolled out of bed this morning wishing I would have set my alarm for an earlier time. I guess I should be thankful my alarm even went off, I forgot to plug my phone into the charger last night! The three younger kids (Nate, Lydia and Julia) started getting up and ready for school. I told them to brush their hair and teeth. I packed my bag so I could shower at the gym after step class. (I don’t usually shower at the gym but I had to work at Fun and Games today and wouldn’t have time to go back home to shower.) Lydia helped me prepare lunches, including my own. I reminded the kids to brush hair and teeth. Told Julia to change clothes, she wasn’t wearing dress code. Reminded kids again to brush hair and teeth. Started loading everything/everyone into the van. Ran back in the house because Nate forgot his binder. Came back out, realized Julia wasn’t in the van, ran back in to get her. She didn’t have shoes on. I told her to grab some and put them on in the van. Although I think she carried Lydia’s shoes out and not her own. Oh well, at least she had shoes on her feet!

Finally we all made it into the van with our belongings. Everyone was buckled in and off we went, running behind schedule.  I looked back in the rearview mirror and realized that Julia had not brushed her hair.  Really??  I probably told her at least ten (thousand) times to brush it.  Hmmm…I sure hope she brushed her teeth. 

My friend called just as we were driving off, another frazzled mom trying to figure out the schedule for the day. While chatting with her I looked down to notice that our dog Molly was on my lap.  Why I didn’t notice this sooner, I just don’t know.  I asked the children, “Why is there a dog on my lap?”  Nate responded, “Oh, I put her there”.  UGH, NATE!  I turned around and took Molly back to the house.  Off we went again, running more behind schedule than before.

We pulled into the school, I dropped the kids off and headed to Body Boutique.  I love my gym.  It is all women.  I have made some great friends there. They have FABULOUS instructors and Sara, the 8:15am Monday and Friday step instructor, is one of my favorites!

After class I rushed to the shower room, I only had 30 minutes to get ready for work. I started getting my shower supplies organized. I had my towel, shampoo, conditioner, body wash… wait! I didn’t have body wash. *sigh* How could this be?  I make and sell body wash for The Yum-Yum Shoppe, for goodness sake.  Shampoo would have to do.  It cleans hair so surely it would work for body wash!  After showering as quickly as possible, I began laying out my clothes only to realize I forgot to pack the shoes I planned to wear for work!  Good grief. 

So here I sit at work in these shoes… 
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Typical Monday.

What were the odds?

Julia is my youngest child. She is 8 1/2 years old today. She is very active, strong willed, stubborn and sassy. But she still holds my hand in public, loves to cuddle, is so creative and can be super sweet… when she wants to be!

Julia has been wanting roller blades for weeks and weeks. Every day she would ask me to take her to the store to buy her roller blades. I kept thinking she would give up and forget about them. But she didn’t. Every day she would ask. Finally, I told her I was most definitely NOT buying her roller blades for full price at the store, they were too expensive. But I said I would take her to Good Will to look one day when we had time. Ok… I have to be honest here, I only told her that to appease her. I knew full well the odds of them having roller blades in her size at Good Will were slim to none, which was fine, she really didn’t NEED roller blades.

We had some free time after school supply shopping one day so Julia asked if we could go to Good Will. I reluctantly said yes. I told her not to get her hopes up, that they probably would not have roller blades and not to be upset if there weren’t any. She told me she was sure they would have them. We walked into the store, Julia was beaming with anticipation. She asked me where the roller blade section was. I told her to check by the shoes. Down the shoe aisle we went. All the way down the aisle. And there, at the very end, on the bottom shelf was one pair of roller blades… pink and grey… just about her size. I couldn’t believe it! What were the odds? She grabbed them and immediately sat down on the floor, threw off her shoes, put on the roller blades and… they fit! Best of all they looked almost brand new and only cost $6.99.

Julia's rollerblades!

She rolled up and down the aisle, thankfully there weren’t a lot of people in the store! I eventually got her to take them off, we took them up to the counter, paid and headed home. As soon as she got in the door she put on her new roller blades and bike helmet, and off she skated to the neighbor’s house.

Here she is at her friend’s house. Their garage is so clean. Mine does not look like that at all.
Julia and friend

Here she is walking our yorkie, Molly.
Julia and Molly

Although most of the walk looked like this:
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Every day Julia skates around in her roller blades. That just might be the best $6.99 I have ever spent on that child! Our next investment will be knee and elbow pads. Maybe we need to make a trip back to Good Will! 😉