Art by Rebecca Barkley
After making my very first ever batch of soap and still feeling productive.. I washed everything and jumped head first into another batch I wanted to try out.
For this soap I wanted to blend calming, relaxing scents and try adding a natural colour with Brazillian purple clay. I had grand ideas of swirling the purple into a pure white soap but that didn’t happen.
From the soap base sampler pack I chose to use the Shea butter for this soap. I also selected Lavender, Chamomile and Bergamot essential oils, the Brazillian purple clay as mentioned and I remembered a bag of dried lavender I had so what the hell I’ll use some of that too.
I melted down the 500g Shea soap base and figured I’d just use it all in 5 of the 6 x 100g sections of my mould. But THEN I found an old chocolate mould I had and thought I’d try making soaps with that too. Of course once I use the mould for soap I can’t go back and use it for food but that’s ok I hadn’t used it in years. It’s for soaps now.
Before the soap had completely melted I sprinkled some dried lavender into 2 of the moulds. This is all a learning experience for me so I may as well try a few ideas as I go. The other 2 soaps I would sprinkle the lavender on top like I did with the oats on the bee soaps.
Tip: Don’t be too rough trying to scrape down the sides – notice the soap sprayed onto my drawers? At least it’s an easy clean up!
When the soap base had melted I added 10 drops of each essential oil and stirred well. Very carefully I poured the mixture into 4 of the moulds leaving enough room to add some purple. When I poured into the moulds with lavender it immediately pushed the lavender away and I couldn’t see exactly what happened but I knew the sprinkling idea hadn’t worked, the tiny pieces of lavender were probably too light and didn’t stay put. Lesson learned.
I made sure I left some melted soap in the jug and I mixed about 1/2 a tsp of Brazillian purple clay with some water then added it to the left overs. It was a very grey colour to begin with. However by the time I added it to the soaps they had already hardened enough that the purple didn’t mix! It just layered itself on top. I tried poking around with a skewer but it was no use and my swirling idea flew out the window. Lesson 2 learned. That’s ok though, the layer effect would look cool anyway. I added some lavender to the top of 2 of them and let them set. Meanwhile I’d also poured some mixture into the chocolate mould too.
Can you tell what they are?
Time to wait..
24 Hours later was the best part.. popping out my soaps and checking them out! The scent was really strong. It was lovely, but my almost 4 year old didn’t like it one bit. He kept telling me it was too stinky and asked me to take it out of the room. HA!
Here you can see the two bottom soaps had the lavender in the mould and as a result it has dispersed through the soap. I quite like the look of it actually. The one on top obviously had the lavender sprinkled on top which I think I prefer. The other soap I made had the lavender fall off completely so I musn’t have pressed it down into the soap properly or maybe the soap had dried too much. Lesson 3.
All the soaps!
They were teapots and tea cups! Very tiny these soaps are but they’d make good travel size soaps. Perhaps with green tea.. oh so many more ideas to try!