Good morning, folks!
Sorry for the lapse in my posting - I was busy with finals! Nothing says love like doing calculus exams! Thankfully, that is all over now, and I was able to catch up on some chores and make some more soap this week!
I recently received a package from Brambleberry, and one of the methods I use to try to motivate myself is to not allow myself to open any packages I receive until I finish my homework. Otherwise I'll just ignore homework and play with my soapy things! In my package was a good number of fragrance oils, as well as soaping oils and some colorants. I knew I wanted to soap in the short week break I get between classes (my classes are condensed 8 week classes with one week in between) and hopefully use up a bunch of my BB sample fragrances to free up space in my cabinet for my larger bottles! :D When I first started soaping, I had no idea what I'd like or not like, so I decided to order pretty much every BB fragrance sampler there is. Now I have a pretty crazy collection of fragrance oil bottles and about a zillion tiny sample jars. Plus, BB sends you new samples every time you order something, so I tend to collect samples pretty often.
I made three different soaps this past week, the other two of which I will be posting about shortly. Today, though, as you can see - I am talking about my honey bee soap! :) This soap was inspired by my dog, Pepper, who I call my "honey bee." She's super sweet, zooms around, and she was a bee for Halloween (yes, I'm that pet parent). She is the first dog I've had in my adult life, and I just adore her! She is a wee Pomeranian - a breed I didn't think I'd ever like after a childhood friend's Pom was such a jerk, but I am so in love with my little dog! She prances, bunny hops, gives good cuddles, and is all around adorable. I mean, hello, look at that face!
I decided I wanted to make a honey bee soap to dedicate to my dog, and wanted to make it striped like a bee. I fragranced the soap with Bramble Berry's "Pure Honey" fragrance oil, and used Yellow and Black Oxides to color the soap. I originally wanted to do a tiger stripe method but that SO didn't work - I soaped too cool (whoops!) and my oils started to thicken up on me. I ended up having to just plop the colors in the mold and I desperately tried to drag a hanger through - it didn't work too well, but I did still get somewhat of a swirl. The top was actually a lot better than the inside! I also learned that my master batch recipe (something I've been working on as my "base recipe" for almost all of my soaps) had too high of a solid oil percentage in it. I've since corrected that, and when I made my other two soaps, it performed beautifully. So this week I learned - 40% solids, and 125 degrees is where it's at for what I wanna do with most of my soap (this will of course change depending on whether or not I use milk, what fragrances I use, or if I want to make more luxury bars with more exotic ingredients, etc.).
I have also decided to move my superfatting percentage up to 8%, because the standard 5% that Soap Queen's recipes are is just way too drying for my skin. I have skin like the friggin' Sahara Desert, and it sucks. I am hoping that with all these corrections, I can totally create something worthwhile and moisturizing.
So far, everyone that has seen/smelled my honey soap has absolutely loved it. When I told Pepper that my soap is dedicated to her, she just looked at me like I was nuts, and then sat down expecting a cookie. Typical dog - can't appreciate it! But that's okay. She's still my little honey bee! :D
Elizabeth is a new to soap making, and wishes to share her journey in learning to make cold process soap with the hope that it will help other newbies who may stumble upon this site as a resource. From swirl techniques, choosing colors, combining fragrances, embeds, toppers, and textures, she chronicles her lessons and stories here.