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Mittwoch, 15. April 2020

Tall and Skinny Shimmy


Since 13. March 2020, we stay at home to avoid getting in contact with the Corona virus. Kindergarden and schools are closed so my kids are at home and I have to homeschool my older son. We are really very busy all day long, however, there is some time for soapmaking when the kids are sleeping :-) 

Everybody who has kids knows that it's really important to have a tissue box on the table since horrible things can happen when kids sneeze while eating. When they inhale suspiciously I quickly - like a frog catching a fly - grab a tissue und cover the face of one of my sons before the disaster happens. Last month we had this really beautiful tissue box on our table. I was watching it with my soapmaking-eye (this comes in action very often; it sees things from a soapmaking perspective: how I could make soap in/of/from something). I considered to use this pattern for the Clam Shell technique but didn't have time for another attempt; I kept the empty box as am inspiration. 


When I started practicing for this month challenge, I knew what I wanted to try: using the pattern of the tissue box for the Tall and Skinny Shimmy design. Nevertheless, I had to practice first and master the technique. I started with the pattern that was shown in a beautiful soap from Tatiana Serko in the tutorial. 


My fist attempt was not that bad. I used titanium dioxide in the soap but did only mix by hand (and not with the sick blender). The reason was, that it was a tip for the technique to soap as liquid as possible. The titanium dioxide supported the batter not to be too liquid but didn't mix in very well. If you have a very detailed look on the soap you can see some white sparkles. 


My next tries were way too liquid without using titanium dioxide and only mixing by hand. I used a whisk that turns around when you push it. That worked quite well, however, I should have waited a bit for the batter to thicken from no trace to light trace. When the batter is to liquid, the soap drowns into the soap you poured before and does not show the shimmy pattern. I did this twice :-(


I don't know how many different soaps I made with this technique the last two weeks - maybe six or seven? Finally, I made a soap which I was really pleased with. The shimmy looks perfect and I love the colors.


Also, I made the attempt I was dreaming of when I first saw the tissue box. This was an attempt for the advanced category where three pours were expected. For the "leaves" I used an in-the-pot swirl with greens. That was one pour. I started with a black pour (hoping for a well-defined shimmy line), then the in-the-pot swirl followed by a white pour. I wanted the black and white show a cosmic design so I added black and white to the in-the-pot swirl as well as first and last pour.


I took me a while to fill seven cups with the white, black and greens. I measured the pours into the cup to get almost equal portions of colors in every cup. Therefore, I had to do some math prior to mixing the colors. 

I made a video showing the pouring and cutting of the soap that you can find here: https://youtu.be/jWvyAOJtGHU

Finally, I ended up with two different soaps I really like: The leaves pattern for the advanced category (21 overall pours) and the 7-color shimmy for the regular category and couldn't decide which one to enter for the soap challenge. Nevertheless, since I was dreaming of the leaves pattern for a while and it really turned out as I wanted it to turn out this was my choice, supported by lots of kind comments on Instagram for this picture. Thanks’ to everybody helping me decide!

Also, a big thank you to Amy hosing the Challenge and Tatiana Serko for showing the technique! Please stay safe and healthy everybody! Take care, Diane 

Samstag, 25. Januar 2020

Landscape Design - Eiffel Tower


This month at Amy Warden's soap challenge we had to make landscape designs. This soap was made without any embeds and without painting the final soap bars. It's pouring and soap shaping only. Since I love Paris and have been there several times this landscape was the first that came up on my mind when I read about the topic of the challenge.

I first painted the Eiffel Tower on a piece of paper and copied it on a place mat that I bought from IKEA for a few cents. It took me a few hours to get all my shapers done, but it was fun work. 


I uploaded a video where you can see how I made the soap, that's why I don't explain too much about it. It took me almost 1.5 hours to pour it. I used a slow moving recipe so I didn't mix lye and oils for each layer, I mixed it at once and it worked perfectly.

Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/TzZQ6oxWmvs


I really enjoyed this technique! Thank you very much Belinda for your great tutorial! I already saw some entries on instagram and they are adorable, I can't wait to see all of them!

 _THE_RECIPE
 OILS  40% olive oil, 26% coconut oil, 17% sweet almond oil, 7% sheabutter, 6% grapeseed oil and 4% castor oil.
 LYE   20% water (as percentage of the amount of oils) 7% superfat
 ADDITIVES  1.5% citric acid (as percentage of the amount of oils)
 SCENT  Davinia (Gracefruit) and Tomato Leaf (Scent Perfique)
 COLOR   micas
 DATE  21. January 2020

Samstag, 19. Oktober 2019

Chevron Design - Soap Challenge




This month the Soap Challenge Club was practicing slanted layers. In the advanced category we had to do a chevron design. The design was achieved by tilting the mold and pouring one layer including a fragrance oil that speeds up trace. When the layer was settled you could tilt the mold to the other side and pour another layer.

Samstag, 21. September 2019

Pipe Divider Swirl - Soap Challenge


This month the pipe divider technique was practiced on the soap challenge club and I have to mention that this is a really great technique. Especially when it come to the swirling ... isn't it just the best when swirling in a slab mold that you can see the swirl you'll get immediately?

Freitag, 23. August 2019

Brush Embroidery Soapchallenge

englisch Translation below the German paragraphs (italic)


Auch in diesem Monat habe ich wieder an Amy Warden's Soapchallenge teilgenommen. Die Technik die diesem Monat praktiziert wurde war die Brush Embroidery Technik. Dabei wird Seife in einen Spritzsack gefüllt und so auf ein Seifenstück aufgetragen. Danach wird mit einem Pinsel eine Strich durch eine Linie gezogen. Doch nun der Reihe nach:

This month the soap challenge club used the Brush Embroidery technique - that is used to decorate cakes and cookies - to decorate cold process soap with cold process soap that is filled in piping bags. But let me tell you the story from the beginning:

Mittwoch, 24. Juli 2019

Pointy Layers Soap Challenge (& Video)

englisch Translation below the German paragraphs (italic)


Im Juli wird bei Amy Wardens Soap Challenge die Pointy Layers Technik gemacht. Im Grunde funktioniert die Technik wie wenn man Schichten gießt, sich jedoch nicht um gerade Linien bemüht sondern durch das Absinken des Seifenleims Spitzen in der unteren Schicht erzeugt. Der Seifenleim darf aber nicht ganz versinken so wie beim Drop Swirl. Mein erster Versuch war schon ganz gut und hat zarte spitze Wellen gemacht.

At Amy Warden's Soap Challenge in July we are practicing the Pointy Layers technique. It almost works like making layers but instead of straight lines the above layer should sink into the lower layer (but not drown like at the Drop Swirl). My first attempt worked quite well, it produced tender waves that were poured with a small paper cup into the lower layer (that was poured like an In-the-pot Swirl with six different colors).

Sonntag, 30. Juni 2019

Secret Layers: Transforming designs / Magische Seife: Verwandlungsdesign

englisch Translation below the German paragraphs (italic)


In diesem Seifenprojekt habe ich mich mit Veränderung der Seife während der Verwendung beschäftigt. Fotos von Seifen zeigen zumeist ein schön geschnittenes Stück von vorne bevor es verwendet wurde. Doch, wie entwickelt sich das Design beim Waschen?

In this project I'm studying the issue of the transformation of soap designs while using the soap. When you look at soap pictures you mostly see soaps that haven't been used by then. In this regard the question arises how the design will change while using it when the soap gets smaller and smaller.

Dienstag, 21. Mai 2019

Playing with the feather swirl / Das Spiel mit dem Federchen

English text below the German paragraphs (italic)


Ja ja, der Federswirl hat es mir angetan obwohl ich ihn schon ganz lange nicht mehr gemacht habe. Der (für mich) perfekte Federswirl ist mir noch nicht gelungen, aber ich bin mit den Ergebnissen schon glücklich. Hier der Reihe nach meine Versuche und was ich draus gelernt habe:

I love the feather swirl technique, even though I haven't tried it for a long time. I still didn't create what I would call a perfect feather, however, I'm really happy with the soaps I got. Let's start from the beginning and what I learned about the feather swirl:

Samstag, 20. April 2019

Gracefruit Parfumöltest / testing fragrance oils from Gracefruit

Es ist schon ein Weilchen her als ich diesen Parfumöltest von Gracefruit Düften für die Naturkosmetik-Werkstatt durchgeführt habe um mir selbst ein Bild über das Verhalten der Parfümöle im Seifenleim zu verschaffen. Es ist faszinierend wenn man die eigenen Ergebnisse mit den Herstellerangaben vergleicht ... sie weichen leicht bis stark ab, vor allem wenn es um das Andicken des Seifenleims geht.


Den Test habe ich innerhalb eines Siedevorganges durchgeführt. Dafür habe ich die Lauge und Öle eines Rezeptes (40% Olivenöl, 36% Koksöl, 10% Rapsöl, 10% Distelöl und 4% Rizinusöl) in drei Teile geteilt und jeweils 9 Parfümöle auf einmal getestet. Unten stehend ein Bild mit meinen Testergebnissen. Die erste Spalte zeigt den Namen des Parfumöls (in alphabetischer Reihenfolge), die Nummern in der zweiten Spalte, die Reihenfolge in denen die Parfumöls in den Videos getestet wurden. Im ersten Video wurden die Parfümöle mit den Nummern 1-9 getestet, im zweiten Video die Nummern 10-18 und die Nummern 19 bis 27 im dritten Video.

Die dritte Spalte im Bild zeigt nach wie vielen Minuten der Seifenleim nicht mehr flüssig war. Manche hielten sich nicht einmal eine Minute lang flüssig, das war erstaunlich. Bei einem Parfumöl hatte ich das gefühlt, dass wenige Minuten nach der Zugabe der Seifenleim in eine Gelphase über gegangen ist. Das kann für manche Designs recht praktisch sein, z.B. bei Schichtseifen, manche Swirls gelingen jedoch nicht wenn der Seifenleim zu dick ist. Die vierte und letzte Spalte in dem unten stehenden Bild beschreibt das Aussehen nach 2 Wochen Reifezeit.

Gutes Gelingen beim Sieden, mit dem richtigen Parfumöl zum Swirl!




A while ago I did some fragrance oil testing for Naturkosmetik-Werkstatt to get familiar how the fragrance oils behave in soap. It's really fascinating to read how suppliers describe the behavior of fragrance oils in soap and how they actually behave.

I used one recipe (40% olive oil, 36% coconut oil, 10% canola oil, 10% safflower oil and 4% castor oil) to test 27 fragrance oils and did the testing in one batch. Therefore I divided the lye and the oils in three parts to test 9 fragrances at once. Additionally, I did a tenth soap (soap number 0/1, 0/2 and 0/3 in the picture above) for each test series without any fragrance to see how the batter behaves without any fragrance. 

Since I had to work very quickly, I was not able to write down any comments. However, I filmed the testing and uploaded the videos on YouTube so you can observe yourself how the fragrances behave. Some speeded up trace so badly that the spoon almost got stuck in the cup.

I made an overview (in German) of the testing, you can see the document below. Let me translate a little bit: in the first column you see the name of the tested fragrance oil in alphabetical order. The number next to the name is the number of the fragrance as used in the videos. No. 1 to 9 were tested in the first video, no. 10 to 18 were tested in the second video and the last nine fragrance oil, no. 19 to 27 were tested in the third video. The minutes in the third column describes how long the batter was fluid after adding the fragrance oil. The last column describes the color of the soap after 2 weeks of curing (Hellbraun = light brown; Beige = beige or creme color; Dunkelbraun = dark brown; Rosé = light pink;  Keine = no discoloration). There's a picture above of the discoloration after two weeks as well. You can match the perfume oil with the color in the list.

Have fun soaping with the perfect fragrance oil for your design!

Samstag, 30. März 2019

Ghost-Swirl: High water & low water soap


I'm quite delighted about the soap on the picture above that is colored with alkanet root powder. Therefore, I prepared an oil infusion (3 tablespoons of alkanet root powder in 10.5oz of olive oil), heated the jar in a water bath for two hours, let it sit for two month and shook it sometimes.