Monday, May 20, 2013

Impromptu Spoon Swirl Masterpiece


This soap was impulsive and unplanned...the hubby was playing a gig  and I was reading on the couch when I decided to surf a little soap porn in private. I ended up on watching the Soap 101 Lady make soap. I love listening to her no-nonsense raspy voice and watching her capable rubber gloved hands texture a mean soap top. I watched her tutorial on Spoon Swirl Technique which I can't believe I've never stumbled upon. I had to do it. I'm getting pretty good at setting up my stuff. Still, sometimes it takes me an hour and a half to get ready for soap showtime and it was already 10 pm.

I chose my daughter's favorite color combination--aqua blue, black, and white and whipped up a new recipe on Soap Calc incorporating some new palm kernel flakes ordered from Wholesale Supplies Plus. I mixed to a medium thick trace, scented with a lemongrass essential blend following Ms. Soap 101 exact directions, then swirled  3 times down one side of the soap, 3 times down the other, and 2 times down the center. Awesome. My lovely daughter, enticed by her favorite colors and a new technique, ambled out of her purple teenage cave to help. We embellished with a little aqua mica mixed in oil and glazed on top. Here's how it turned out. The recipe consisted of olive oil, coconut oil, palm kernel flakes, mango butter, and sweet almond oil.. We love this soap. Unlike the last batch, this one matches the one in my head!

 My next soap is going to be a chamomile infused soap. I haven't decided what combination to use. I haven't been able to justify the cost of German chamomile essential oil, but it's a cinch to grow, so here it is...daily picked and tossed on a screen to dry and waiting for a good olive oil soak.  This is the annual German chamomile that I started from seed late last summer. It remains a low mound till spring then over a few days grows near 2 and half feet tall and starts making flowers. I pick them daily, once the morning dew dries off around 10 am, then pop their lovely little heads into my hand along with a cursory check for wee-beasties, and then onto the drying screen. The ferny stems are too fragile to bundle and hang upside down and aren't where the essential goodness is anyway. I was a little confused whether I should dry them in a hot dry place with direct sunlight (my sun room) or in a cool dark place. I checked with the ultimate authority, Mountain Rose Herbs, and they suggest a cool dry place out of direct sunlight which could fade and affect flavor. We'll see how they look this weekend. I've really enjoyed having these back in my herb border. I grew them many years ago, but never did anything with them...just plucked them and stuck them up my nose mostly. Nice they will finally serve a more noble purpose in my soap.

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