Monday, 9 November 2020

Still at the Beach!

When having a tidy up the Khandala Soap workshop recently I came across a silicone mould with small shell and fish shapes which I'd forgotten all about.  

Each soap piece is small, barely an inch across, so pretty perfect for dropping into individual bars. 

I've created the 'sand' base with Rhassoul clay, a favourite of mine when it comes to clays, so I'm hoping for a lovely bar when it's ready. Oh yes, it's fragranced with  Rosemary & Tea Tree essential oils.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Experiments with Soap Art

Determined not to waste all the hours I now have at home since the pandemic began I decided to experiment with soap art!! This means colours, swirls, new techniques and, best of all, lots of fun!

My first attempt was something called a Taiwan Swirl, a tricky technique involving the use of soap dividers in the mould which are removed once the different colours have been poured and then, if things are going well, you swirl away to your heart's content. Although my first batch looked the part, I'd poured it at too thin a trace and the whole batch had to be binned. It was back to the drawing board.

However, the second batch (Fig & Cassis) was a little more promising...

Bouyed by this I tried a more complex design...

...fragrancing it with a heady mix of essential oils - cedarwood, bay, black spruce and lavender. Every time I look at these I see art deco polar bears!!

Putting the swirling to one side my next step was an attempt at making distinct layers. This batch is a Patchouli & Lavender Layer.

It was relatively simple (and smells wonderful)... but lots still to learn and perfect.

I called this next batch 'Seascape'. It reminds me of a Van Gogh!! 
Fanciful or what!

And now to my most complicated to date. I wanted to create a soap that reminded me of Shropshire Fields in the summer. Here is my first attempt...

I have to confess that whilst this could be considerably better, I am, nevertheless, over the moon. Or should that be the sun!

15th October 2020

My latest creation certainly looks good enough to eat and reminds me of those popular Viennetta desserts from years ago. (Can you still get them?)
This is Lemongrass & Black Pepper soap with poppy seeds.

Well here I am, a couple of weeks on and still experimenting!

I returned to my Shropshire Fields theme and made a second batch. I'm not sure that I've improved it - some pluses and some minuses I think.

After that came Lavender Swirl...

...I love the chunkiness of this!

Then Bergamot & May Chang...

I look at this and see gentle surf washing up on a sandy beach (yes, bonkers I know).

21st October 2020

Christmas Squares....

...and Spearmint & Rose...

I've used essential oils of rose geranium and spearmint to frangrance this. I felt it was an unlikely combination but it's actually worked supringly well.

29th October...still at it!

Life's a Beach

Soap on a Rope...I hear it's making a comeback!


Saturday, 11 April 2020

Dandelion & Honey Soap - Day 2

Well here it is, 24 hours on. The yellow has faded in the saponification process but it's retained it's creamy lush appearance. 
It will be now left to cure for 4 weeks.

The joy of soap-making!

Friday, 10 April 2020

Dandelion & Honey lockdown.

It's a long time since I've written in the blog and even longer since I first made Dandelion & Honey soap - 2014 to be precise.

So here I go again, sharing this marvellous experience with you!
I collected my dandelions from the local fields on my permitted 
walk yesterday.

What makes this process magical is that when you steep the dandelions  overnight you end up with a rather murky dark green infusion.

The magic happens when you add the lye water to it and back it goes to a 
lovely yellow colour again!

Wow! The power of nature.

I mix in the solid oils, then the liquid ones and finally the essential oils - in this case lemongrass, red mandarin, may chang and orange and give it a final whizz with a stick processor and pour.

This now needs to set or in soap-making terms 'saponify'. I won't know for a couple of days how this will turn out but I shall 
keep you posted!