February 19, 2019 4 min read
Well, it was just soap disaster. There’s a storm raging over the Midwestern United States, bringing subfreezing temperatures, and blinding blizzards. That’s real trouble. This is just what happens when the soap fates do not smile upon you. I had a beautiful idea, and this is not quite the full expression of it. I think you can build on what’s here, however, and make something stunning. I think it’s important, too, to show that neither I, nor anyone else’s projects turn out every time they turn on a hand blender. It takes time to get it really right, and sometimes the soap just isn’t on your side.
The initial plan was the soap you will see, but in a larger size, topped with fluffy white layers of piped soap, with glitter between the layers to look like moon-kissed clouds, and a little soap star to top each bar. Before beginning this project, I ordered the Royalty Soaps Piping Set, and experimented with it. It comes with everything you need, including some larger size micas and glitters and links to instructional videos. Everything but the soap. If you’re thinking about purchasing one, just keep in mind that if you aren’t accustomed to piping on baked goods, there will be a bit of a learning curve, but the videos will talk you through it.
I made a very small amount of soap with Katie’s Blend, the blend of oils used by Katie of Royalty Soaps. If you don’t know Katie, you can watch her here. The Royal Family is a blast to watch, and there are links to the online shop where she sells her own beautiful creations. She also made a Northern Lights soap, and you can watch its creation on her channel. The blend of oils she uses in her lovely soaps will be available here at Nurture Soaps soon, and I have to tell you it’s amazing. It softened easily in its container in just running hot water, and was easy to pour. It gives you plenty of time to swirl, but sets fairly quickly. It makes the measuring and blending a little easier, so you can do the fun part.
You can see them peeking out the top. Looks cozy, doesn’t it. My intent was to get some glycerin rivers, and the pretty crackle effect that comes with it. That didn’t happen, but I did get a solid white crescent cylinder. It was enough.
When the insert was ready, I prepared to blend another recipe to finish my soap. I had the oils melting, and went to measure my lye. I was certain I had one full bottle, and part of another. I was mistaken.
Soapers know that it can be difficult to get lye. It is not illegal to sell in my state, but stores just don’t carry it. If you call for it, they say they have it, and then direct you to drain cleaners, which you absolutely cannot use in soap making. It has to be just sodium hydroxide, and I couldn’t get any. So I measured out what I had, and used the amount of oil to match that. It was not enough to fully fill the mold, let alone to put my fluffy clouds on top. I ordered some lye, and blended my soap.
That’s the whole story to that. I don’t know why the lights went out on a clear night. The remainder of this project was completed by candlelight. Hence, there is a distinct lack of photography.
I poured a little over half the batter into one container, and fragranced it with part of a 50/50 blend of Cottongrass Fragrance Oil and Sambucus Fragrance Oil. They play well together, and also play nice with soap. In the larger part of the batter, I added (rather generously) Brilliant Blue Mica, Black Pearl Mica, and some Intergalactic Glitter. I divided the rest into three small containers, and added Neon Green Fluorescent Pigment to one, Synergy Mica (which is a gorgeous shade of blue) to another, and Purple Vibrance Mica to the third. To all three, I added a little more Intergalactic Glitter. I split the rest of the fragrance among them. I filled the mold with all of the blue soap, then poured the smaller amounts into the left long side of the mold, and swirled it several times with a hanger swirl tool. Then I nestled in my cylinder of moon soap, and covered it with long stripes of the remaining green, Synergy, and purple. I swirled these gently on top, so as not to disturb the moon.
On the very top, I added a tiny amount of each of the accent micas, and a generous amount of glitter to a tiny bit of olive oil, poured them on top, and swirled. Ordinarily, I am paranoid about partial gel and would place the soap in the little fridge. In the absence of electricity, this seemed unnecessary.
In the morning, whatever had broken had been fixed, and there was daylight, and electric light. This is what I had.
Not bad. I let it rest a while, then got out my soap cutter.
Not just any sort of break, but the actual wire holder broke off the arm. No repairing possible. Let me be clear: I had a cheap amazon cheese cutter I had purchased when I first started making soap, not a Nurture Soap Single Bar Cutter. I did the best I could with what I had, though you will see in the final images that the bottoms of some bars are just broken unevenly, and that’s why.
I’m fairly pleased with these, all things considered.
Winter is here, my soapy friends. Stay warm and take care of each other.
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|Erin is a writer living quietly in the Appalachians, making soap and writing health care articles and horror fiction. She's obsessed with fragrances and the moods they evoke, and uses her soap to inspire her fiction, and her fiction to inspire her soap. She's probably baking delicious cupcakes right now. Or soaping them!|
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