Monday, June 27, 2011

Successful batch with stick blender

So since this whole stick blender was new to me I knew I had to conquer, and make another batch of soap.  My next batch was again mostly vegetable shortening, large amount of cocoa butter and small amounts of castor oil and olive oil.  I decided I wanted to give the whole "swirl" thing another try so I colored 1/2 the batch with pink.  My scent was going to be pink grapefruit, with a hint of honeysuckle and champagne.  The smell was pretty fabulous!,  and I was pleased with the color.  It didn't trace nearly as quickly as the first batch.  So while I said I liked the color right after adding it, after 24 hours I wasn't as pleased.

Not too bad, but I'm hoping it will calm down just a little after it cures more.  Also I noticed it is getting a little ashy on the top.  I realize this is only cosmetic and won't at all affect the quality of the soap, however it bothers me. 

First batch of soap with stick blender

So yesterday I said to myself "self, you need to get a stick blender!" so since I was so convincing, I went right down to the store and bought one,  along with a digital scale.  I know right about now you let out a gasp, surely she hasn't been making soap with a regular food scale and mixing by hand?  Well... yes, I have.  I now know what Ive been missing, although it has been a bit of a learning experience. 

First batch I made was a recipe largely made up of Vegetable shortening and coconut oil with smaller amounts of castor and Macadamia nut oil.  I had planned on coloring it with a lavender and slight vein of green, since I was going to scent it with lavender, sage and a touch of lemon.  Well I added the lye to the oils and almost immediately noticed it starting to trace.  So I mixed with the Stick Blender off, and then pulsated it a couple times.  Thats when panic set in, as I knew it was setting up quickly.  I separated some for 2 different colors and then without even thinking put the uncolored in the mold (no scent!) then attempted to swirl in the other 2 colors.  I covered the mold and just left it on the counter, no insulating.  This afternoon when I came home from work and took it out of the mold it was so hard! Not to mention the colors did not turn out the way they were intended.  So the only thing to do was rebatch it.  So I started cutting it into the crock pot, then decided it was so brittle Id grate it.  Which made it like powder.

This would be right out of the mold less than 24 hours later.  The lavender color turned pink and the green turned a yellowish color.  Yea, not exactly what I was going for but hey, now I know. 

Once it was all grated in the crock pot it was very pretty, a soft yellow with slight pink.  Would have been perfect for laundry soap if it was scented.  I'll post photos of what the end product is after rebatching.  Thankfully soap is almost never a fail.  Still I am in love with my new stick blender and digital food scale!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New at This

As Ive been browsing Handmade Soap blogs I have found myself a little intimidated.  I make an awesome soap, I am confident in that, but there are artsy soapmakers out there that I hope I can aspire to.  I love looking at all the beautiful creations out there, getting ideas.  The thing that I need to get better at is the cold process.  I get so impatient and want to use it NOW! that I find myself slicing it thin and putting it in the crockpot.  But I know if Im going to produce larger quanities of soap I need to stop fussing with it and let it cure. 

Any advice from some of you more experienced high volume soap makers would be very welcome! Im excited there are people following me and excited to become part of the blogging community.  Again all advice is appreciated.  :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New to Blogging

Ok here I am giving this whole blogging thing a try.  I follow countless blogs and thought to myself, "self" I think I might want to try this whole blogging thing".  Mostly I will blog about Soap making, however I enjoy doing lots of things that might sneak their way into this blog from time to time.  I hope you will stop by and find something that keeps you coming back.  Id love to hear from you about things you've learned about blogging or soap making.  This could be fun, I think :)