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A second failure, but third time lucky

I’ve finally had some success with the Mantra Swirl for Amy Warden’s challenge here. It was third time lucky in the end – I’ve already blogged about my first failure, and my second failure was the very next day. It was (a little) better, but still nowhere near right. The mix thickened up too quickly again, so was difficult to pour into the mould, let alone swirl…

Here it is in the mould:

photo 1 (8)

And here it is cut – you can just about see some pattern within the soap, but it’s a very poor imitation of what I was hoping for!

photo 2 (8)

But, after some head scratching and giving myself a good talking to I got back on the horse and tried a third time. This time I used only natural essential oils to fragrance the mix, as I think the fragrance oils were contributing to the fast setting up of the soap. I was also really really careful to keep the soap batter nice and thin to make sure it would pour and swirl nicely. And…… worked!!

I’m so pleased – and very excited to see what it looks like cut 😀 All will be revealed in my next post, but in the meantime here’s an advance peek at the freshly poured soap:

photo 2 (9)

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Disaster Strikes

Sunday saw my first soapmaking in months, and my first disaster in a long time….

I was all excited to be making my entry into the Mantra Swirl competition mentioned in my first post,  but there was much more enthusiasm than skill on display as I played fast and loose with my temperatures 🙁  I ended up with a soap that seized on me and basically turned to colourful cottage cheese in the pot before I’d even had a change to pour it, let along swirl it!

Nevertheless I managed to squish it into the mould:


And here it is cut:


Pretty ugly huh? To add insult to injury the scent doesn’t seem to have stuck either. It was fragranced with a lovely Thai Coconut fragrance oil but there’s precious little of that coming through at the moment. Ho hum…

On a more positive note I took delivery of two new spirit thermometers on Monday and soap making will resume this week – I still have a competition entry to make!!

(Oh, and this is what a Mantra swirl should look like – hope to have something similar to show you later this week…)

2nd Mantra Swirl

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So here’s a first…

A shiny new blog from The Soap Mine…

It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while, but not got round to.    Then I signed up for a soaping challenge organised by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks to learn and create a Mantra swirl, and the preferred way to share our entries is via a blog link up – so here I go.

Thanks to the new arrival it’s been months since I made any soap, and I’m really dropping myself in at the deep end this weekend by starting with this challenge, but more on that later.  Now I need to go and work out how to add images to a blog!!