I soap in phases. And this, scented with black raspberry-vanilla, is another in my "soap ball" phase. I think I'm done with this for awhile; I'm feeling the faux funnel swirl urge again. I just have to stock up on olive oil....yet again.....
I had a request for another special order--another all goat milk soap, this time scented with Orange Grove. I thought I'd make little orange balls to add to the batch. I've only made soap balls once before, ages ago, out of still-warm hot process soap but I wanted to try cold process this time. Soap balls aren't the newest thing to hit the soaping world, but my camera was handy, so here you go. I used single bar soap molds to make two orange soaps, one to gel and the other to leave ungelled. I wanted to see exactly what each was like but suspected the ungelled would work better. After a few hours, I was able to begin working with the ungelled soap. It had the consistency of wet clay. I had to let the chunks dry slightly so I could roll them into a smooth ball. When I started working with the gelled (but still warm and soft) bar, I was really unimpressed. The first few were OK, but as it cooled, the consistency became like dried out Play-Doh bran
One complaint I've heard about "real" soap is that it tends to get a little slimy if it sits in a puddle of water. It seems that a lot of soap dishes are made just to look nice and function is overlooked entirely. Soap mats are the best solution I have found to avoid that melty, gooey effect and to dry the soap between uses, making it last longer. You can either rest it in your current soap dish or use it instead of a soap dish. Whenever it starts looking a little soapy, just wash it along with your towels and such. After a bit of practice, I learned how to make my own little mats to rest my bars of soap. And they work great! If you don't know how to crochet, look for an online video for a lesson or do what I did and find a book that explains how. I use a single crochet stitch. In order to get the ridges on the mat that allows for more air flow, I only crochet through the back loop and not both of them. (Maybe there is a term for this??) Mine measure
I've always loved soap curls. Yes, they're delicate and dainty and look really cool embedded into a loaf of soap. But I've had curl envy mainly because I couldn't figure out how in the heck to make them. I would occasionally decide that "this time I was going to conquer the soap curl." And invariably it was a bust. Well, the urge struck again last week and with some leftover soap batter, I made a bar just for curls...or as most people would eventually refer to them, chunks. Here is my usual "curl." And manually rolling them up results in a lumpy, clunky not-really curl. In desperation-- oh joy! oh rapture!--I reached for a different, but though very similar, vegetable peeler. Perfect, beautiful curls! It wasn't my incompetency after all! And then I had to go and ruin my curls by putting them into a batch of soap. But that's a whole 'nuther post. Maybe.
So far my soap of 2012 has been of the ho-hum sort, but since it's only the 4th, I'm not giving up on the year yet! :) I haven't ruined any, either, so I'll just keep muddling along until I get through the doldrums. Here is a batch of BB's Cherry Blossom. It's made with all goat milk and with the shea butter, the lather is already quite nice. It was a special order and the whole batch has been claimed, so you won't be finding it in my Zibbet shop. But I thought I'd share pictures anyway.
For the last month now, I've been mulling over upcoming projects and goals for the upcoming year. I'm so excited to get the new year started and to dive into some new projects! I thought I'd share a few of my "soapy" goals... 1. I'd like to learn a new skill. I've been reading up on making liquid soap and cream soap and I think the liquid soap will be my focus. Any thoughts from those who've tried either or both? 2. My interest in herbs preceded my interest in soapmaking and I want to incorporate herbs more prominently in my products. I love herbs! I recently realized that I grew 30 different herbs in my (used-to-be!) flower beds last year. It didn't seem like that many, mainly because many are immature and I couldn't harvest as much as I will next year. 3. I was given a book on crafting fragrances. While I'm not into making perfumes and colognes (yet?) there are some techniques that I can use in blending fragrances in so