Thursday, September 24, 2015

     So for those who don't know me very well besides soap I also am addicted to quilting. I have been Quilting since I can't remember when, before it was cool that is for sure. I recently agreed  to test a pattern for a designer named Joanne, is her website, before she published it and it was awesome. I hope to find other designers to test for in the future,but lets talk about her quilt today.
      The quilt is called Autumn Moons. finished size is 44x60 so perfect for snuggling under during a movie marathon when the weather turns.Fabric requirements were super easy; 1/2yrd cut for inner border and 9 dark and 9 light  fat quarters, but who doesn't have that laying around in their stash?  I know that I sure do, but I also need an excuse to go visit my local quilt shop every now and again so that is what I did this time. Of course, you will also need a backing.
     I really liked the simplicity of the quilt. I know, I know, so many people are afraid of the drunkards path but is really is quite simple if you have ever set in a sleeve it is no different. The only one definite recommendation I have is if you ever do a drunkards path go get the acrylic template for cutting. I did not have access to my template this time around and I had to cut it old school. I did not enjoy it at all. I am so used to the accuracy that I get with the acrylic rulers and a rotary cutter.
       Another thing I liked about the quilt is you get to do a little bit of everything. you have your curve piecing, three paper pieced blocks that were really quite simple as far as paper piecing goes and then you had your flying geese. Joanne's directions were easy to follow and her fabric guide was spot on. you had enough fabric left over you could make a mistake or two and still get the quilt done but not so much fabric left that you are thinking "What am I going to do with all this leftover fabric?"
        Given the size of the quilt I do have ideas rolling around in my head of doing this quilt again only making it larger to fit my king size bed. The decisions to be made then are do I make more leaves and make the center bigger, or do I simply add a couple of rows or drunkard path and call it a day, probably I will make drunkards path and a few random leaves followed by another random flying geese border. I can't wait to get this loaded up onto the long-arm and quilt it. That was another aspect of the quilt that appealed to me. some great open spaces to quilt in. I will post pictures when that day comes. In the mean time head over to and take a look and some of Joanne's other works.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September Challenge Clyde Slide

So the September Challenge from Amy Warden is called Clyde Slide, And if the name isn't fun enough to say then let me tell you this might be a new obsession. I watched several of Clyde's videos and I can see I will be playing with this one for awhile.

This is how my finished product for the first try turned out. I scented it with Guava Fig from Crafter's Choice. and I used neon pink, matte red mixed with a touch of pink, green and a little too much titanium dioxide also from crafter's choice as my colorants. I did make a video of my pour but I can't remember how to edit and upload at this time.
   I went with pouring my colors into my bowl on one side with some of the base already in the bowl. I also moved the bowl down the length of the mold as I poured. I really like the swirl effect that I got even though I didn't get the amazing feathers. It has been a while since I have used my really long molds. I could have and should have made a larger batch of soap and mixed another color or two. I will try this again very soon. Thank you Amy you always broaden our knowledge.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

yin and yang

I haven't done one of Amy Warden's challenge in forever. Here is hoping I get this one done in time. This months is Embracing  Opposites.My first thought is yin and yang. Now what scents do I have that would work with that idea. I have some Dragons blood scent. I also need to replenish my goat milk line of soap.

 First off I have to make the yin and yang which I did with my standard goat milk recipe; coconut, olive, lard and palm are the oils I used. Isaac chose green and red for the colors. I tried to mix two different shades of each for a in the pot swirl. Pour into my round mold and since its goat milk I decided to throw it in the freezer to see what the difference is between gel or not gel. I had plenty left over to pour into some silicon molds that I could gel so I would have a good test on that.

Here it is straight from the freezer. (One shot with flash one with out.) Ready to go into log mold with more soap. I mixed up some more soap but not quite enough and I really need to stop trying to do purple. I wanted purple on the side of the green and yellow on the red side. well somehow there was just a touch more yellow than purple and I am not sure how I feel about the finished product.

Below is some of the left over that I threw into a silicon mold and let it gel. the color is much softer.

And then today as I was washing up the soaping dishes I realized I didn't use the vanilla stabilizer so all the color mixing may have been for naught. time will tell.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Taiwan Swirl

  Well we are 17 days into the new year. It would appear that I won't be any better about blogging more often than the day before the link up closes for Amy Warden's GCSC (GreatCakes Soapworks Challange). Good thing that wasn't a resolution I had set.LOL
   I got a Soap cutter for Christmas so you bet I made a batch of soap on Christmas day ,I gotta try out the new cutter. wow it is so awesome to have the whole loaf cut at once and all the soap is the same size. I won't have as much soap in the sale bucket at farmers market this year.
  This month we are doing the Taiwan Swirl. the only downer for this swirl for me is I can't use my new cutter,or can I? We will see. I went with Amy's recommended 80% olive 20% coconut oil. My first batch we went with Black Raspberry Vanilla. I think purple and white. Now I have not had very good luck with my purples but I am a glutton for punishment and I am not going to give up till I get it right. So I decide that maybe I need to use more pigment than what I have used in the past. In the cup it was a nice dark purple. added to the soap it looked kinda grey,but it was a nice fluid soap. It seemed too fluid but I carried on. I didn't get to do the swirl. Isaac had to do it but he did a great job.
here it is in the mold, good contrast. when it came out of the mold it was hardly noticeable. After two weeks curing I do see the purple morphing back to its true color as it cures so who know how it will look in a few more weeks.

if you squint your eyes you can see a little light purple on the left side.

  So we have to give it a second try.I just got a sample of a liquid color during the week so what smells green? green apple, I had used it once before and it didn't trace too soon for me so I decided to give it a try. Well I was just too confident.I had to stick blend the color a little to get it mixed through and it started to set up on me. push on, even though you cant see a swirl on top. When it was time to cut I have a bar that is solid white. my green was too thick to get to the bottom, but wow I love that swirl. So I personally think that I made to big of a batch because I can put my block of soap onto my soap cutter and get 3 bars. two with the swirl one that is solid white.

      So lets try it one more time. Guava fig is the FO of choice. It stayed nice and fluid but I really think I mixed too much as the color. But I am pleased with the color.

     The pink is kinda taking over but I already know that what you see on the top means nothing. you don't know if you have a fail with this until you cut. and it will be just a little longer before I can gut this.I     will show you how I use my new soap cutter to get this baby cut with the most uniformity that I have had in a while.
Well this batch is taking its sweet time. it is still too soft to cut. so I will cut it when I can and make a video of how I get to use my soap cutter and still get the awesome design to show. I can not wait till next week I have a whole bunch of liquid colorants on there way.  The most important thing to remember during challenges is don't try to many new things at one time. It can get frustrating. I do really like this swirl I will be giving a three color try soon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Coloum Swirl

So it is challenge time again with Great cakes Soap Works and this month I registered on the first day and made my soap on the next day, sorta. I was hijacked by my assistant son. Every month He watches the video with me and then we go to my FO stash and my mica and pigments and talk about what colors we smell with each fragrance and decide together what I will do.
   This month it was the same process only not nearly as long. When he saw all the colors that Amy used and how it looked. He said that we were out of Patchouli and that is a tie-dye smell. I got busy weighing my oils, water and lye. Pause, I wanted this batch to be goat milk. we don't need water, go to the freezer and get a bag of milk and let it thaw enough to get into the container for lye mixture. While that happens lets run my oils through the soap calc. I am wanting to try a new to me oil. Rice Bran Oil. Run the numbers on how much soap we want to make for the mold we will use. Snag number 1. I need 80 oz. of oil for this mold because of the way I want to cut it. My milk has all been per-measured and frozen for a 64 oz batch.
    Solution, use amount of water needed to make my liquid weight, dissolve lye into water, while it is still hot add the frozen goat milk. Cross fingers that it doesn't scorch too much. meanwhile while I wait for lye to get to the right temp I get my pigments mixed in oil. Isaac chose purple, gold, bubble gum pink, and blue. Because goat milk tends to darken we added titanium dioxide to the main color after mixing all the other colors.
  Well I guess I am not a fast learner, because the purple morphed to pink and the blue went grey. After curing for a week I can also add that we did not add nearly enough titanium dioxide to the base. So for the next batch colors will be done a little more heavy handed. What else did I learn? Tri-angles are not very good for a column pour and that my son just might be making his own soap sooner that I had thought. He did this pour with very little help, He was very much in command of this batch. I wonder if he will let me help on the next one.

So For the next batch I used the same formula only not goat milk, My FO  was a little spicy so I was worried about trace happening too fast. I decided to only add FO to the main color and see it that would be OK.
second attempt. so far so good.
not so pretty here it looks like ash but it's not,
wow, I really like how it looks when you cut through the center. I still need to do this at least one more time before I am happy. This batch the colors started to thicken a little quicker than I wanted. and oddly the part that started to trace was unscented. This is Aura Lights. Isaac choose all the colors for this one too. I think he did well with his color choice I might have gone more blue but he made me look at images to prove to me that I could put in the orange.
  Thank you Amy for another great challenge. There are some amazing soapers out there.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

squeeze bottle design

It is challenge time again. Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks gave us the challenge of squeeze bottle design. Amy gave us great tips and video as always.
   Before I started soaping I was a quilter. I have been quilting since before I can remember. I was still in high school anyway I'm a quilter. I have a long arm quilting machine and I quilt for others as well as myself, So I knew that this was my chance to merge the two.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

dandelion zebra swirl part 1

Has yet another month flown by without my paying attention? The soap challenge from Amy at Greatcake Soapworks is due so I guess that it has. This month for the  Challenge, we had to create a soap with what is called the dandelion zebra swirl, which is named after the very talented soaper Vinvela Ebony and explained on her blog Dandelion SeiFee. I went to her blog and forgot to turn on the translator, even in German it was informative. much more enjoyable when you turn on the translate.
  So for my soap I used Sugared Spruce from Crafter's Choice. The first thing I smell when is just a hint of orange, then the fresh woody smell of the outdoors.  I grew up a country girl and we always cut our own tree. Which means you cut what kind of tree is growing in your area, so we did not always have the "Christmas pine" most of the time we had a cedar tree. I am pretty sure that my mom was always keeping an eye on the brush that would pop up. sometimes we were allowed to clear it sometimes not. anyway back to soap. I me personally the sugared spruce smells just like Christmas tree that I grew up with.  My color choices are green and orange for my stripe. I added a little titanium dioxide to the base(should have added more).
   It was recommended that we use a slow moving formula. so I went with my formula of
  25% coconut
  30% lard
  35% olive
  10% sunflower
I mixed my oils and lye and proceeded with my soap.
 I used a piece of plexiglass cut to the width of the mold and have it at an angle to pour the green and orange soap alternately. reserving just a touch for the swirl on top.
  Then after removing the plexiglass I gently spoon the remaining base into the mold. drizzle the remaining colored soap along the top for a pretty swirl.
all swirled up and ready to get to gelling.

And here is my soap cut, what did I learn from this challenge? what will I do differently next time? I will bring the base to a little firmer trace, so that the stripe won't sink so far to the bottom. I will use a taller piece of plexiglass so the strip will have more of an angle to it, I will also make sure that it fits a little tighter. and finally I will not make soap while dinner is cooking in the oven above. I always oven process my soap and even though I had my oven temp set to 150, I feel pretty sure that the oven above made mine made the soap oven just a little warmer that I wanted it to be. The top is a bubbly mess. But on a positive note now I know how to recreate my frothy top on my stout soap next time I make it. I was wondering how that happened. To hot of an oven apparently.
    Since it is going to be a nice dry day today I think I will get started on making another dandelion zebra swirl. I am thinking fruit loop scent would be cool for this technique. Thank you Amy Warden for yet another great challenge. now to go look at all the other great entries for this month.