Wednesday, June 16, 2010

new molds and swirly castile peppermint

i've been meaning to make a castile soap for the longest time, so castile soap soap it would be! after a bit more research, i decided i didn't want to do a pure traditional castile with 100% olive oil since a lot of people report it to be a bit slimy and not have enough lather. so i went back to kathy miller and decided on her "favorite castile II" recipe (but only half). i've always gotten great results using her recipes, and the reasoning seemed sound to me.

because our last summer mint soap didn't turn out so hot, i decided to try again for a refreshing mint theme, but using the funnel swirling technique from lomond soap. i made a super strong mint tea and let it cool. i was a bit surprised when it turned dark orange when i added the lye. not exactly the color i was going for with a mint soap, but i figure, i'm still in the learning/experimental phase, so on with the show. i melted my oils, added the mint tea lye solution, and got it to a very light trace. added the peppermint EO with a splash of spearmint EO (bc it was all i had left) then divided the soap into two halves. even though it was all orange, i held onto my hope that it might change back to green eventually. i added about 2 tablespoons of french green clay and about half a tablespoon of spirulina to one half.
then i got my super helpful assistant, mr. aaron, to hold the funnel for me since i didn't have enough chopsticks to make a stand like the tutorial. pretty good swirls from what i could see!

thanks to a super tip from fellow soap blogger Jen, i bought two sets of the molger wooden boxes ($10) each from ikea to use as soap molds. so happy i did too! perfectly sized soap from a mold that cost about $5. just amazing.

here they are after cutting and i am quite happy that they are *much* less orange and way more green. i'm hoping with 4 weeks time, it will completely change to all green. and i am super happy with the swirls! so cool! every bar is different. enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

no bugs summer sunshine soap

natural color experiment #2: annatto seed

results: awesome!

i steeped several tablespoons of annatto seeds in olive oil while i was preparing the rest of the materials. i decided to use the same recipe as the margarita bar and the summer sunrise since it is such a nice final bar. very hard and lots of lather. i'd like a heavier, smoother lather eventually, but this one is my best so far. most requested soap has been the dog soap, the essential oil blend that repels bugs for dogs, gardeners, and hikers alike. i tweaked the e.o. blend a bit from last time to include some eucalyptus and a bit more citronella. and i wanted it a little more beautiful. *bright* yellow and covered in calendula petals.

i am 90% in love with this soap. the color is perfectly beautiful and i love it. the calendula petals got a bit oily and weird looking. there are tiny bubble on the tops in some places. and there is a small crack right in the middle of the top. i guess it got too hot?