Category Archives: Embeds

Soap Balls

Do you like making soap balls?

It appears to me that people enjoy making them and turning them into fun and creative soaps.  I do make soap pucks from fresh trimmings but that’s just one or two at a time.  I give them away or use them as kitchen hand soap.   I stopped collecting scraps to make into a whole new batch because the couple of times I did, I was not too happy with the way they looked. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the future.

Last month I made a batch of soap that accelerated trace and simply didn’t cut it. I decided to grate some of the fresh soap while it was still soft and I made them into ball embeds. The first few balls were fun to make, but rolling 40 of them? I don’t know how others do it, but I was getting tired compacting and rolling the soap into neat little balls.  I feel though that all that work paid off with the way the soap turned out, but seriously, I don’t wish to make more!

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Some of the reject soap also ended up as cube embeds – my preferred style and the more practical approach – but I have to say that the ball embeds are rather cute and fun. 🙂

Bamboo Grapefruit

Bamboo Grapefruit

 

Fil-Castile Soap Embeds

As I mentioned in my last post, I only had 8 bars left of the Fil-Castile soap because this was where the other 7 went:

1.  Peppermint Avocado – I am one happy girl when avocado is in season. I love eating it, soaping with it, and slathering it on my face with honey and yogurt for a moisturizing and skin-refining face mask.  Avocado was the first fruit that I incorporated into my soap and it remains to be one of my favorites. To see my first avocado soap, please click here.

For this soap, I used about 10% (of oils) fresh avocado mixed with some water to make into a smooth purée. When using fruit or vegetable purées, I always let it go through a fine mesh strainer to ensure smoothness. For color contrast, I utilized the moringa sludge left behind from the oil infusion for my moringa facial soap, and for scent, I added peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.

I took this photo a day after unmolding the soap:

Avocado Moringa 3

The actual soap was greener than what the photo above shows. Three days later, I took the photos below.  The bottom part with the moringa had become a bit lighter, but due to the lighting, it appears lighter than it actually is. I suspect the green will fade out or morph into a light yellow brown color. It is worth noting that after 2 months, the moringa facial soap with infused oil is still green although lighter.  

Avocado Moringa 1

Avocado Moringa 2

Avocado soap with peppermint, eucalyptus and moringa

Across my house, there are 3 eucalyptus trees. I decided to use some of the leaves as props. I never noticed before that some of the newly sprouted leaves were purplish red.

Eucalyptus Leaves

Eucalyptus leaves at various growth stages

Here in the Philippines, moringa grows everywhere. Once picked, the leaves tend to curl up and look wilted so it’s a good idea to dip the stems in water.

Eucalyptus leaf side by side moringa leaves

Eucalyptus leaf side by side moringa leaves

2. Orange Patchouli with Red Clay – I have read other people rave about orange and patchouli together. I now know what they’re talking about. The combo is a deep, complex and haunting scent. It’s divine! I have to admit though that it took me a while to appreciate patchouli. It does smell like dirt, but it blooms when mixed with other scents. I am crossing my fingers that the scent will hold!

For 1250 grams of oils, I used only 1/4 tsp Australian red clay to get a pale terra cotta-like color.  That stuff is potent! The actual color is a little bit darker than the photos. Red Clay Soap 3

Red Clay Soap 4Red Clay Soap 2

Red Clay Soap 5

Orange Patchouli Soap with Red Clay

 

 

Embeds

I can sometimes be very picky with my soaps and this usually means they end up as embeds. I wrote about it here last December 16, but shortly after, I had another batch, called Pear Lily, that I made into embeds. There was nothing wrong with it, but there was nothing special about it either.

I made 2 similar versions with the embeds. For the first one, I kept faithful to the original fragrance blend of Bartlett Pear, Green Tea and Pear, and Lily of the Valley.  I also kept 2 of the 3 original colors.  I really like the way this turned out, and I hope it’s a sign of the way things will be for 2014 since I made it on New Year’s Day. 🙂

Pear Lily

Pear Lily

Keeping the pear fragrance theme, I still used Bartlett Pear for the second version, but mixed it with an orange almond fragrance. I think it smells like the delicious French tart called Pear Frangipane.

Pear Almond

Pear Frangipane

The yellow and lavender-colored soap below is something I made last December 13 but was not able to blog about, among the many others. The original was one of the rare floral soaps I made – a fragrance combination of Violet, Rose, Patchouli, and Musk. I used glitter for the first time, but after steaming it, it turned into something like grated egg yolk that got wet. I chopped off the swirled tops and cut those into small cubes. I also made bigger cubes from the “topless” bars.

I think the resulting look complements the feminine scent of Sweet Pea and the more sophisticated floral-smelling embeds.  I thought I didn’t like florals but I am starting to appreciate it better.

Butterfly

Butterfly

From Ugly Ducklings to Swans (sort of)

Like all soapmakers, I’ve had my share of fugly soaps. Nothing wrong with them, just downright unattractive.

Earlier this month, I had planned on making a masculine and earthy-looking soap by having layers of green, black and tan.  The cedar-spice scented black and tan portions set up quite suddenly, while the green portion scented with lavender and sage remained liquid. To compound the problem, the green chrome oxide that I had mixed with some neon green was not turning out the way I wanted it to.

I could not stand how ugly it looked, I just had to chop it up right away.  Believe me, it’s so much better to face ugly soap in a pile of little cubes than in big bars.  I also wish I could use up everything in one go, but my plan was to do embeds, not a rebatch.

I’ve already made 3 batches with the embeds, and I still have 2 more to go. For the first batch, I used Vetyver, grapefruit and sage fragrance oils. It smells fresh and masculine, but I am not happy with the specks of undissolved titanium dioxide. I just opened a new pack and I feel that it is behaving differently from before. I got it from the same supplier and they don’t indicate whether it is water or oil soluble. With the first bag I bought, I was mixing it with oil until I figured out it worked better with water. With the new pack, I suspect it is the other way around.

Embed 1

For my second batch, I used french green clay for the first time. I was surprised at how gritty it was. I sifted it, mixed it with a little water, and pressed it against the wall of the bowl with a spatula. My poor new plastic bowl got seriously scratched.

Even though it’s supposed to be green clay, it looked gray to me, so I added a pinch of green chrome oxide. The result was an earthy grayish-green color, just what I was hoping for.  I scented it with spearmint and  eucalyptus E.O.s, and orange and grapefruit F.O.s  It smells fresh, but a little toothpaste-like for my taste.

I got my design inspiration from Petals Bath Boutique’s stunningly pretty Candy Rocks soap. Mine is a far cry from Kia’s gorgeous artistry, but nonetheless, I am pretty happy with it. This is my second try to make a pencil line and both times have been a little bit messy. Can someone please give me advice on how do it cleanly?

embed green clay 1

I had some green mica already mixed with oil that I was not able to use for an earlier batch. It wasn’t part of the plan to do a mica swirl top for this masculine soap, but I got carried away.  I think it’s pretty, but I don’t know how guys will react to it.

embed green clay 2

For the third batch with the same embeds, I used French green clay again (I am really liking the texture it gives to soaps).  I wanted the embeds to be on one side only, so I tilted the mold, poured some soap, sprinkled embeds, then added the rest of the soap. This time I scented it with peppermint E.O. and orange peel F.O. Combined with the woodsy scent from the embeds, the smell is fresh and soothing, very spa-like.  I am thinking of naming it Hakone Spa or Zen Garden.

embed green clay peppermint 1 embed green clay peppermint 2Pardon the poor lighting of the photos. I had to do several re-takes and this is the best I could come up with that shows a fairly accurate color of the soaps.  I usually take pictures before I go to work or when I go home.  Even though I try to go home a bit early, the sun sets even earlier.

Wishing you all a good week, and happy shopping if you haven’t finished yet with your list! 🙂