Tag Archives: embeds

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! 🙂