Monday, August 29, 2011

Mass Update Part I: Experimenting Around

I am not even sure where to start. I have been trying to write this post for weeks now and it just gets harder and harder everyday for some reason. But it needs to get done so that I can move forward. A lot has actually happened lately, lets see if I can get this all right.

First off, and one of the reasons I have been missing, I have officially been promoted to Head Crew Trainer at my job! It feels so amazing to be recognized at my work and I've never really gotten a promotion before. I am beyond proud and working really really hard to prove I deserve it. (My boss laughed and told me I was an overachiever like her but I need the moolah and apparently it's working out well for me!)

And in soapy news~

I have been hard at work.

First, a couple of weeks ago I left a status update on Facebook that confused a lot of my friends. I was considering the outcome of an experiment I didn't have a lot of faith in once I got going. I was attempting swirling colours, something I never ended up letting everyone on Facebook know like I promised I would but there you are. I had the same base and same flavours and colours I had had for a while but still wanted to work on something. My raspberry vanilla recipe needed some work but I didn't really want to just waste the supplies, so I decided to give something aesthetic a try. I am not always the best at visual art but I knew it was something I was going to need to practice. I looked through my books and online to try and understand if it was even something I could do with my translucent base. None of them said I couldn't swirl a clear and a colour together and I assumed it was just going to bleed together but I decided to give it a try nonetheless.

Using up the last of my organic translucent base I made a batch of vanilla and a batch of raspberry, working on my recipe at the same time as trying something new. I poured the clear vanilla into the little square molds and waited for it to cool down until it had a skin like everyone told me to do, then poured in a bit of the red raspberry into each. What I was not informed of by any of my online resources was, the common sense idea, that I needed to remove the skin before pouring.

These were very ugly little soaps.

However, on the last two, I got frustrated and poked at the vanilla base with a toothpick until the skin came off with it. The soap underneath was still liquid and beautiful so I decided to pour in my raspberry and give it a try. They had cooled a bit too much but actually turned out very pretty and I was feeling a little better about the whole idea.

I later realized that one of my books laying in my room told me exactly the right thing to do. It also told me to try pouring the two colours in at the same time. Live and learn. I stored it away for later and got on ordering new product.

I have ordered a LOT of new things lately. First off, I got some new soap base. Wanting to try for some moisturizing I order a pound of goats milk base and a pound of olive oil base from Brambleberry and as usual, it was BEAUTIFUL. The need to try different bases, of course, came from my wanting to make a special bar for my good friend Syl who reviewed my Hello Kitty soaps. She had said that it smelled and worked great but tended to dry out her hands a little bit. So I ordered the base and some oils from Tenzing Momo to make her a special gift. I ordered some rosemary essential oil, ginger essential oil, and a cherry blossom fragrance. I also decided to try some of Brambleberry's liquid pigments and bought an amethyst colour. As much as I would love to throw up a picture of everything I've gotten, a lot of it has been used and for a while my camera had been MIA. I've decided to just press on.

Too impatient to wait for her oils I decided to play around with the goats milk. What? I could always order more. I broke out the old muffin pan for lack of a better mold.

I made a simple recipe of soothing lavender vanilla for my mom who loves vanilla and could probably use a little less stress in her life. The smell of lavender was a bit strong but an easy fix for the next time. I even gave the amethyst colour a try. One drop was all it took for a beautiful, solid colour. I also gifted a bar to a friend/manager of mine who carried it around all day shoving it under everyone's noses and telling them to smell it.

But even more exciting, in the same sitting I felt a sudden surge of inspiration and created my very own scent inspired by the Almond Biscotti free sample! Amaretto. I think it's my favourite and I have had to on multiple occasions tell my family that they may not lick it.

It really is a terrible pan. I had a lot of trouble getting them out. I will need to work on that...

I wish I had more pictures to show off but they came out a little bumpy from the old pan and we used them right away.

The goats milk feels so wonderful I think any soap I make for myself will definitely have to be from it. It left my hands feeling so incredibly soft and happy and my hands go through a lot at my job. The goats milk has gotten a lot of use but the olive oil has yet to be taken out. I fully intended to give it a try but, still waiting for my oils, I decided to give swirling another try, which led to a whole different world for my soap making experiment.

To be continued...

♥ Amanda Leigh

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