August Soap Challenge - The Dancing Funnel
November Soap Challenge - The Tall and Skinny Shimmy
This month we learned a new technique called the "Tall and Skinny Shimmy". I had a harder time making it work than I had expected, but it is always fun to cut the loaves of soap to find out what is inside. In order for this technique to work the soap has to be at a very thin trace. My first batch was too thin, my second and third were too thick. The fourth was just right! It was exciting to cut it and see the result.
Soap Challenge Club - Replacing the water with an alternate liquid.
This is my first time doing a soap challenge. The rules were to replace 100% of the water with an alternate liquid and have the soap be all natural ingredients. I chose to use apple cider as the liquid. We have our own cider press and make our own apple cider every year. As I was contemplating which liquid to use we had company over to make cider and I realized that that is what I wanted to use; homemade apple cider. I made one small practice batch (didn't want to waste our precious cider), and it worked wonderfully! When the sodium hydroxide was added to the partially frozen cider the liquid turned a dark golden color, but had no bad odor. When the soap was finished it had a light golden color. I decided to try and make it resemble a slice of an apple; a little green along the bottom as the skin (colored with nettle leaf powder), the rest of the soap left natural, a little strip of loofah down the middle as the core, and some blueberry seeds to represent the apple seeds. I used a mix of cinnamon leaf essential oil, and 10x orange essential oil for the scent - wanting to go for a spiced smell that would remind me of spiced apple cider I love to drink in the winter.
I researched the use of fruit juice in soap to find out any pertinent information I might need before making the soap. Basically what I found was that it might discolor to a darker color, but won't keep it's smell. Also, as far as I could find out, even though apple cider may have many vitamins in it, they don't necessarily transfer over with the finished project, hence it is added for label value only.
"Starry Night" This soap is made with olive oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, palm, oil, and shea butter. It's dark grey color comes from activated charcoal which is known to be very good for the skin. Added with the high quality oils and butters used in this soap, it is a wonderful bar for face and body.
Tea Tree Mint Body Bar. This is a spin swirl technique. It turns out a wildly fun soap bar. This soap is made with goats milk, coconut oil, canola oil, almond oil, hemp seed oil, rice bran oil, mango butter, castor oil, and silk fibers. This soap has such an exquisite feel!
Awhile back Marta tried to teach us how to make soap. I gave up and stuck with bread, but Julie never fell off the soap wagon and we now have enough bars in various stages of curing to give Napoleon's army a good scrub. In spite of my best efforts to get good and grimy, the soap is still keeping ahead of me.
Actually she plans to sell soap to anyone in the county who is dirty, along with our fertile eggs, roast beast, and flavorful pork. She has been working on some sort of label, some logo for advertising. A friend suggested Jules Jewels, which has a nice ring to it. And I said she ought to add--For Your Pits and Parts. Not sure if she will use my idea yet. These are not your average bars of soap. They are made with exotic oils like palm and coconut. Some claim to be relaxing, while others are supposed to give you a buzz.
The flavors themselves are pretty wild. Cranberry fig, pomegranate mango, white tea and ginger, dancing waters, and lemon verbena. And my favorite -- ylang ylang III. Maybe Elise can tell us what that one means. I think it has something to do with a long long soak in the tub, upwards of three hours. Or maybe it refers to a long long shower like mine that lasts three minutes. Anyway, one section of our pantry has been renamed The Apothecary.
With all sorts of colors and patterns, the soap looks and smells pretty real, enough to fool Elder Araya who thought one bar was peanut butter fudge. Porter intercepted the bite, but we did send the missionaries home with their own customized bars.
One of the best things is how this soap feels -- nice and hefty, smoothly slick, made with care. And there is nothing in it like Triclosan to kill all amphibians downstream. Plus, when I learned that numbers-wise we humans are comprised of 90% bacteria and only 10% human cells, I decided I wanted to keep my own germs anyway. That seemed to jive with what Mom had taught me years ago, or at least my interpretation of the raw milk yogurt and her only allowing us one Tylenol apiece every five years. So now I only use surgical scrub when I have to. The rest of the time I just want my soap to loosen the manure that gets in my ears or anything else I can't wash off in the water trough.
Somewhere along the way Julie's project branched out into liquid soaps like laundry detergent and conditioner. And I am told shampoo and lotion are looming on the horizon. But I'm not sure my logo will work for all this ancillary stuff. If people are using conditioner in their armpits they have serious problems.