As I was putting together yesterday’s ‘Wet Soap Wednesday on a Friday’ post, I was thinking about how much I like soap tops, and remembered that I’d done a post a while back about them. When I went looking, I was surprised to find it had been almost two years ago: Soap Tops from November 2014. I was also struck by how different those tops were to the way I do things now. So today’s post is a quick round up of my favourite soap tops from more recent times.
First up is a dupe of the DKNY fragrance, Be Delicious – appley, cucumbery and absolutely….Delicious:
Then there’s a recent batch of Clarity which turned out just beautifully (last night’s batch didn’t look quite as good as this in the mould!)
The top of this Oatmeal, Milk & Honey batch swirled really nicely:
And this batch of Florida Sunrise (now discontinued) looked gorgeous as it started to gel:
Another recently discontinued fragrance – a custom blend called Enigma, looked luscious freshly swirled:
Finally I just LOVE how this batch of Serenity looked in the mould:
I’d be lying if I said every single batch looks like these, but I do tend to add a lot more texture to the tops than I used to, and I think I prefer them that way. I guess it’s about time I revised my header photo!!
Wet Soap Wednesday comes round again surprisingly quickly. Though, a bit like Christmas, it shouldn’t really be as surprise should it? It’s not as if there’s a possibility it might not turn up on time…
I digress. These are Super Scrubby Peppermint, Love Spell and Clarity, all freshly poured and rocking the glossy look.
This was Love Spell just poured and before the top was textured:
And here it is after the obligatory titivation:
Day 13 tomorrow – sooo close to halfway. If you’re still with me almost 2 weeks in I thank you, very much. If you have any themes or topics you’d like me to touch on during the second half of Blogtober do let me know – I’ll try to fit in a bit more of that personal stuff I find so awkward too 😀
November’s challenge over on Amy Warden’s Great Cakes Soapworks was to (attempt to) recreate what Amy named the ‘Tall & Skinny Shimmy’. This technique is also called the wall pour or segment filling, and has been perfected by Tatiana Serko, an amazing soaper who created the tutorial video for the challenge. I’ve seen this design before and always wondered how it was done, SO there was no doubt in my mind as to whether I’d be giving it a go this month. Here’s the design she created for the tutorial:
I recently bought a shiny new tall & skinny mould, and this challenge marked it’s first outing. This was the first problem. Turned out the mould holds more soap than my regular mold. I kind of thought it would, but checked on the website where I bought it to make sure. Unfortunately, in my haste, I looked at the wrong listing, and so had the wrong volume in my head. Luckily I’d had a sneaking suspicion that that figure might be incorrect (just by looking at the mould – which is LONG), so I prepped two batches of my masterbatched oils, just in case.
I decided (once again) to use a fragrance I’d not used before. Not as crazy as it sounds – I used a blend of Patchouli & Sweet Orange essential oils, both of which I’ve used separately many times without any problems.
I added the fragrance blend to the oils, then added the lye and mixed gently with a whisk until the soap was fully emulsified, but no more. In her tutorial, Tatiana said that she doesn’t use a stick blender, and simply lightly hand mixes her soap. With some trepidation, I decided to do the same, and split the soap into seven, colouring each portion a different shade, and mixing thoroughly by hand.
I then set up my mould as per Tatiana’s instruction. I placed two pencils parallel to each other on my work table, on either side of my mould. I put one side of the mould onto one of the pencils, so that there was a tilt to the mould, and then poured the first colour down and along the side of mould that was NOT on the pencil. I then moved the mould so that the other edge was sitting on the other pencil (and the mould was therefore tilted lengthways the other way) and poured down and along the opposite side. I did this with all seven colours, alternating the side each time. The soap was very thin, and had barely reached trace – I think it perhaps could have been just the tiniest bit thicker – note to self for next time…
Anyway, of course, it turned out I didn’t have enough soap made up to fill the mould, so I quickly separated out another three portions of the second batch, added colour, and continued to pour. The pouring was fast and fraught, and I didn’t get the opportunity to take any photographs – sorry!
Once the pour was complete, and the mould was full, I swirled to the top and put it to one side to harden up.
As it was poured at such a light trace, it took a while to harden up sufficiently, but three days later I felt confident enough to take it out of the mould:
I was REALLY apprehensive about cutting this one, I didn’t have the time (or the ingredients) to make another one, so I was hoping it wasn’t a complete disaster. As it was, it’s not too bad. I did get a little bit of a shimmy, but there’s no doubt that the pouring left a lot to be desired!!
I think had I had the correct volume of soap from the beginning, and just had the seven colours to pour, I may have had more luck – it’s clear that my scrabbling for more soap towards the end caused issues with the design at the top.
Another issue I had was that the silicone liner was so tall and long, it didn’t stay flush to the sides of the mould – the sides bent into the middle, and so while pouring down one side, I had to use my other hand to hold the other side of the silicone mold away from the middle, which was a bit awkward.
I’m really happy to have been able to give this one a go, and will probably try it again at some point in the future – thanks Amy!
Thanks for reading – I’ll be back soon with a post on my holiday soaps.
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