Thursday, September 19, 2013

Haunted Batches

I'm trying to finish up the soaping for the upcoming fall show on October 19th so it still has enough time to cure. Here's some of the latest: 

Cursed Halloween Soap
I've been fortunate that, up until recently, I've never had major issues with my soap batches...sure the normal stuff...too thick...too thin...general "doesn't match the vision in my head" kind of thing, then bang...two batches in a row, messed up. I think it's because I'm stressed. I have so much to do to get ready for my first craft show, but I work full-time and have all the normal household and run around teenagers kind of stuff to do too. Maybe it's because I tried to make my Halloween soap on Friday the 13th? Anyway, I had canola on my recipe twice and since I have a good system for adding in all my oils; I start with them on my left and as I measure out into my bowl, I put them on my right. Usually, I start with the oil at the top and go down, but sometimes, when I'm feeling lazy, I'll skip the pain ingredients like cocoa butter (hate cutting that stuff) and come back to them later. So, my system didn't allow me to put in canola twice which meant my recipe was 15% short oils. I can't believe I didn't notice it! 

Halloween Soap
I was so excited...I planned a modified dream catcher into spider web design pouring alternating circles of white, black, and orange into four quadrants of my square mold. I used a new FO from WSP, Crackling Fireside, which smells like a smokey bonfire. The oil turned my white soap kind of yellowish, then my daughter noticed something else, "This looks funny Mom, what's wrong with it?" Soap disaster denial kicked in and I said, "Nothing's wrong with it. Don't be such a naysayer. It'll be fine!" Eye roll from daughter. It looked a little, how can I describe it... like curdled buttermilk on top.

I put it in the oven for CPOP and went back to my recipe..there it was...two canola lines on my recipe and I added it once. Lye heavy! So, now what do I do? Pitch it? Rebatch, but add the missing 15%?

I quickly whipped up the redemptive  batch the next night and all was well. I'm not real wild about the FO, but now that  soap has had time to dry out a bit, it's looking pretty good. The final scent is very unlike out of the bottle, but subtle and perfect for this design. 

Rose & French Clay Soap with Worm Hole

This little flub was not near the magnitude as the Halloween Soap, but bad enough to make me not want to sell it. Just the day before, I received my new beveler/planer tool form Soap Making Resources. I love it! It turned some ugly ducky soapies into real swans! Yeah it shaves off a little soap, but makes it salable where otherwise, it would relegated to the cabinet of misfit soaps for my husband and son to use. This little gadget makes some beautiful soap curls so why not incorporate into my next batch, a milk-in-oil method goat soap designed with three layers chock full of clay...bottom rose clay, middle fuller's clay, top French green clay. I'll stick a few soap curls in the middle, oh clever me! This recipe was on the thick side since I loaded it with a high percentage of shea and cocoa butter. I nestled perfect curls into the middle, lighter layer and topped it off with my pudding thick French green layer. 

My husband is frequently recruited to hold my log cutter box. The first slice was beautiful!!! The second slice...what, the heck was that? A giant air pocket? Mike said, "What's with the worm hole?" Upon closer inspection, yes, there was the little perfect frond of a soap curl all curled up trapping air.
Yikes..and I was sure to include a curl in every slice. This is nice soap and my only goat one I did for the show, but seriously who is going to buy soap with a worm hole?

Black Raspberry Vanilla with Glycerin Embeds 

Nothing wrong with this batch, thank goodness, other than being a very strong FO scented soap. I used WAY under the standard FO amount and still it gives me a headache. I'm an essential oil girl, what can I say. My daughter really loves the soap and the scent and I know this one
is really popular for both soapers and customers. It soaped super easy.

I'm going to do one more batch and then I'm putting away the soap box to concentrate on making my bath and body stuff, labeling, table display, and all that stuff. This batch is going to be perfect and I'm going to love everything about it!


  1. So sorry to hear about your Halloween and rose soaps. The Halloween soap looks really nice with the web design.
    Whether it's cooking, baking, or making soap, I tend to make mistakes too when I'm feeling stressed. Since I am sometimes forgetful and clumsy, all of my soapmaking pots/containers have a piece of masking tape with their weights written on it. This makes it easy for me to double check if I have the correct total oil weight.
    Best of luck on your upcoming fall show! :-)

  2. Funny that you mention the weight marks on your containers. Most of my containers DO have weight marks except for the one I used in this recipe. What I should have done, as a double check, is to weigh the total oils minus the bowl weight to make sure I'm on.

  3. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with a couple of batches, Cindy. That must be frustrating when you're racing against the clock and trying to get things done on a deadline. I make more mistakes when I'm stressed or trying to do too much at once, too. The Halloween and Black Raspberry soaps turned out great, though! Best wishes to you on your upcoming craft show! I used to do craft shows back when I sold my soap, and I remember being nervous and excited before each one. Have fun with it, and I hope you sell lots of products!

  4. Thanks Jenny, I'm trying to relax and have fun with it!