Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recent soaps

It is such a beautiful spring day today, so I put all my houseplants out on our back porch to get some sun and fresh air. Then I decided it was as pretty a day as any to take advantage of the natural light and get some photos taken of some of my recent soaps. 

I was being "harassed" by a couple of dangerously close bumble bees the entire soapy photo session. By the end I was so nervous about being stung that I gave up trying to arrange cute photos with the plants and just quickly clicked the last few and got back inside. 

Edit: took this photo a day or two prior
I blogged a photo of this soap freshly poured into the mold a couple posts back, and I was tickled with how it turned out. It is scented in BB's Fresh Snow and colored with TD, neon blue from TKB, and a mix of lavender and blue for the purple. I tried a couple of different recipes for the first two batches of soap I made in the new slab mold, figuring I would have more time to swirl and end up with bars that were easier to unmold. As it turned out with this batch, my usual recipe works out perfectly, so no need for experimenting after all!

I recently got a wooden planer/beveler for cleaning up the soaps being made in my slab mold. I kind of wish now I would've gotten an acrylic one instead for easier clean up, but it is still a very well made tool. I saved a bit of cash on this one though, and because the seller is located so near to me in Knoxville, I actually got it in the mail the next day after purchasing it. I'm still a little amateur at this whole planing and beveling thing, as you should be able to see in most of these photos. 

This soap is still a bit too soft to "clean up," so forgive it's unpolished state at present!
I tried out my small silicone "tall" mold for this soap, and despite what I thought to be good insulating, it still didn't gel evenly and in my anxiousness I unmolded it far too soon resulting in some very rough edges. I'm in love with how the design turned out (um, this was supposed to be a tiger stripe pattern if that tells you how badly I missed the mark). This soap is Black Raspberry Vanilla, which I added at max usage rate due to a past experience with the same fragrance from another supplier completely fading on me. Not the case with this one though, and it smells quite strong! I added frozen cubes of heavy cream to my warm oils for this batch. It is colored with TD, activated charcoal, and electric bubblegum from BB.

Rainbow Sherbet, also with heavy cream. I tried to plane and bevel this one while it was still too soft, so I put the rest of the bars away to cure a bit longer before trying again. This foe from Nature's Garden is so well-behaved that it might have been a little too thin when I poured and swirled it. I had pictured more contrast with the colors I chose in my mind, but this is still one of my favorite scents so I am ok with how it looks.  Colored with a couple of different yellows combined, BB's tangerine wow and electric bubblegum, and TKB's neon green.

These are fragranced with cassia, clove and nutmeg essential oils which gave the soaps a slight yellow tint. I added poppy seeds because they just seem to belong in spicy type soaps to me, and colored with brick red oxide. I purposefully didn't photograph the textured tops because I still need to clean a bit of ash from them. I made this batch by request from my landlord for her daughter, and she bought five bars from me.

This is a goat's milk soap scented with one of my favorite NG foes, Old Fashioned Banana Pudding. I fragranced a little over half of the batch and swirled it together with the unscented portion to let the discoloring of the foe do the work for me. I also added a small sprinkling of poppy seeds. I won't lie, these soaps were pretty fugly before they were planed, which really helped to define the swirl design.

Last but not least, a "natural" soap fragranced with a refreshing duo of  peppermint and bergamot essential oils with added French green clay for a slight green hue that is barely noticeable in this photo. I used Otion Soap Blog's shampoo bar recipe high in castor oil for this batch. I've used the recipe a couple times before, and my honey loves it for his hair. 

And so ends my overloading you with photos. I suppose I just wanted to prove that I have actually still been making soaps! Thanks so much for reading/looking, and I'd love to hear any tips from soapers experienced with planing and beveling to help improve my heavy hand.


  1. The black, white, and pink is a deliciously happy accident!

  2. All of these soaps are gorgeous, Laura! I love the Black Raspberry Vanilla! And the Banana Pudding soap looks great, too. The beveling is a nice touch.

  3. The first one and the last one are my favourites here... beautiful! xo Jen

  4. Love them all, Laura, but my favorite is the BRV. Gorgeous! :)

  5. Wow, the 1st one is gorgeous,Laura!
    Love everything about your soaps!

  6. I adore your soaps. My favorite is the one with brick oxide and poppy seeds.

  7. Very nice Laura! The Black Raspberry Vanilla is just beautiful! :)

  8. all of them are gorgrous! Which tall mold are you using?

  9. Wow, gorgeous Laura...each and every one! My fave is the black and pink one...gorgeous swirl and the colors are so striking!

  10. Your soaps look amazing, Laura! Thanks for sharing the pics! I really love the color combination in the top soap.

  11. Your swirls are so beautiful, but I love yor natural soap :-)

  12. Laura your soaps are beautiful, I'm enjoying browsing your blog! I'd love to know where you found your tall silicon mold, I'd like one too =) Have a great weekend! Jan