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Monday, November 25, 2013

Festive Soaps, round 2

I've always been the type that wants to do everything from scratch.  No mixes, no kits,no shortcuts. So I have always resisted melt and pour soaps.  I've seen some absolute works of art done with MP soap that can't be done with the cold process method, yet I've still held out and claimed that it wasn't for me.

Some time ago, I was contemplating a soap project that involved recreating desserts in soap and I just couldn't think of a way to get the effect I needed with using melt and pour.  (I still need to do that project, but it's pretty low on the must-soap list these days.)  So I added a one pound block of MP to a soap supply order and tucked it away in a cupboard for nearly a year.

I had been thinking of making little CP bells for this batch of soap, but stalled, thinking of all the work of making multiple batches, since I only had one mold.  And then one day I remembered the block of soap hidden away.  As an aside, a high quality melt and pour soap is a MILLION times better than than the stuff I've bought from-ahem- Pastime Foyer (as much as I like the store).  I've used the cheap stuff experimenting with sugar scrub cubes and kids' projects and I was so impressed by how much easier the real stuff is to work with.  I used gold mica to color the bells and I made about 40 of them in a short time.

I mixed merlot mica with electric bubblegum colorants in an effort to get a Christmas red.  And for awhile there I thought I had gotten it perfect on my first try.  I often forget that unlike coloring icing for cake decorating, the colors in soap generally get lighter over time, instead of darker, especially when not gelling.  Shucks.

 But the green lightened up too, so the colors complement each other well now.  Incidentally, this batch is scented with NG's Frosted Peak Tops, a pine-cedar fragrance with vanilla.  In my mind, I'm smelling Christmas trees and marshmallows.  Definitely a favorite of mine and I'm calling this year's version Sleigh Bells.

While I've never snubbed melt and pour soap and the soapers that use it, I'm conceding that from now on, this super versatile medium will have a permanent place in my own soap studio.

12 comments:

  1. Ooh, that's a gorgeous holiday soap, Amy! Love those swirls. Melt-and-pour soap makes making embeds a breeze. I never remember to make CP embeds while I'm already soaping, and I don't want to have to make a CP batch just for embeds. M&P soap embeds can be made in a hurry with minimal messiness. Plus the sparkly micas look so nice in clear M&P!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny. Yes, it is SO handy. Whenever I make a batch of CP for embeds, I wind up making embeds for multiple soap projects so I don't waste a lot of soap. Then I inevitably stall, because it all gets very daunting.

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  2. I love the golden bell and they look gorgeous. Well the festival atmosphere are coming together. Let's make more soap :)

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    1. Thank you Jessie! It is most definitely a festive atmosphere--the first significant snowfall today, it's a holiday week with relatives visiting, and I've been playing all my Christmas records on the old stereo. The most wonderful time of the year!

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  3. Really pretty and so appropriate for Christmas

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  4. Your Sleigh Bells soap looks so fun and festive, a great way to welcome the month of December and the holidays! Like you,I'm the type to make everything from scratch,but I have to say the M&P embeds are so cute! Unfortunately, I don't know where to buy soap base here. I just bought a duck-shaped silicone ice tray that was on sale. Maybe I'll make CP embeds one of these days. :-)

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    1. Thanks, SoapJam! I found out at a craft show this weekend that they catch peoples' eyes, too. :) CP works really well with silicone molds; I think it's much easier to unmold than the plastic candy-type molds. Good luck with your duck embeds.

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  5. I had a typo in the last response and I can't stand typos. They bug me.
    What I said was - I love the little gold bells! So dainty and just right in that soap - well done!
    And I'm over here giggling at "Pastime Foyer". Priceless.

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    1. I have an English degree; typos cause me the same pain. Thanks for the compliment--I was really happy how the soap turned out.

      I'm glad someone understand my coded name. I love the store, but yuck to their MP!

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  6. Hi Amy!

    Very festive! I love evergreen scents! I tried a melt and pour embed from (he who must not be named but where I like to shop too) and it turned into a purple blobs inside the soap. I was going for the cut amethyst look, but no one needs to know!

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  7. Oh my gosh, these are too cute!!! I tend to use MP a lot for my embeds too, I can never plan far enough ahead!

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