Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My 100th Post, some soapmaking and a giveaway!

100 posts?
and you're still here?
its a miracle
not a miracle that its my 100th post, Im a jabberbox
but, the fact that you've hung on, so loyal
I love you all, you rock my socks!

so, this post is for you
Ive been getting requests to talk about soapmaking, something I happen to know a little bit about having made literally thousands of bars of soap.

Let me preface this by saying it is NOT a tutorial for soapmaking, it is just a photojournalistic adventure into my process.  If you'd like to know how to make soap, please visit the Miller Soap Site or Teach Soap for detailed info about soapmaking.
Still with me?

If so, here's soapmaking, my way!
There are no photos of me because I was behind the camera, but if you could see me, you'd see me in goggles to protect my eyes in case of splashes.

I line my mold.

Then, I measure my oils, both solids and liquids into my mixing bucket and using my stickblender, I blend them all together.

Behind the scenes, in a safe plastic container, I mix my lye crystals into my water.  (it gets hot, very hot, like 175*F)
Then, after letting it sit for a few minutes, I add my hot lye water to my oils, they begin to melt and I start to blend again!
My mixture traces and its ready to color and scent before its poured into the mold.
In the second picture, you see Ive added some black jojoba wax beads to my mixture.

This is my swirl mixture, it is made of Dead Sea mud and orange clay.

I add about 10 ounces of soap to the cup and stir to blend.

To the base portion, still in the original mixing bucket, I add my essential oils, in this case its Orange and Patchouli.

Using both my hands and hence, not the camera, I poured the clay/mud soap mixture into the fragranced and uncolored base portion then immediately poured the whole she-bang into the mold.
When it thickened up in the mold, I used the back of a spoon to texture the top.
I just love it when it looks like custard...

Then, it goes into the oven at 170*F for about an hour until it gels.
This part of the process isn't necessary, unless you are me and feel the need to cut soap the same day its made.  I must have instant gratification like an 8 year old....I'll blog more about my immaturity and refusal to grow up sometime.
All you psychiatrists out there can have a field day.

Here we are fresh out of the oven!

Then, we wait....I totally hate this part, but Id rather not melt off my fingerprints.
The soap is left to come to room temperature and then I cut it to reveal the pertiness inside.
Its like treasure every time!

Here's the other soap I made the same day.  Its a goats milk soap with ground oats and local, organic honey.

Okay, so I can hear you after reading all this mumbo jumbo, "Bring on the GIVEAWAY, woman!!"
Keep your pants on.
The winner of the giveaway will receive one soap bar of each of these batches I made.
The soap needs to sit a week or two before I send it so keep that in mind, please.

All you have to do is comment to this post and answer this question:
What kind of bathing do you prefer...Bath?  Shower?  Waterfall?  Dust bath?  Backyard hose?

Or if you don't bathe, tell me that, too.
Although if you win, sending you soap would be unnecessary.

p.s...all my soaps are made with vegetable oils, organic, if possible.
the orange/patchouli soap is made with essential oils and the goats milk soap has a small amount of a honey fragrance oil.
I'll leave the comments open until Friday when I'll randomly pick a winner AND have a new recipe for you all, cuz I luv ya.


slip4 said...

Gorgeous soaps! They look like candy bars, but I promise not to eat any if I win! I am a shower person as I am too fidgety for a bath. I love the idea of a long bath, but have yet to enjoy it.

Carrie said...

Such lovely soaps! Agree with what slip4 says...they look like candy! Love long hot bubble baths with a good book...definitely don't indulge in that enough though.

Ann and Billy said...

I'm thinking the same thing as the others...looks like candy. I shower mostly but love to soak in the tub when I have the time which is not very often.

Silvergirl said...

Gorgeous soaps!!! Almost too pretty to use... although, it would be a serious treat!

I'm a shower kind of girl, although I love a long bath sometimes... when I need to get away and relax from the crazy of the day.

Thanks for a chance to win!

Wanna Be A Country Cleaver said...

Those are gorgeous, they look like yummy gelato!

I'm all about the long bath and then hot shower to rinse it all away.

PS - I'm having my first giveaway on my blog too! Feel free to stop by! It's that time of year to be all about the Warm and Fuzzy foods. All the Best!!
~Megan aka Wanna Be A Country Cleaver

krex said...

The soap looks delicious...I would have to shower with it though because if I had to look at it while I bathed I would be tempted to take a bite...goats milk and honey sounds healthier then some of the things I do eat .

Daniel said...

I shower with a bar of soap (none of that body wash mumbojumbo), so this is the perfect giveaway for me.

KimberlyDi said...

I love my baths. The hotter the water, the better.

Kelly said...

Your soaps are beautiful! I prefer a very warm shower!! Love it.

Lostgirl said...

There is nothing better than a hot bubble bath. Your soap is beautiful! I am inspired to try my hand at soap making now!

artsit4me said...

I love your soaps, and was bummed when you took a break! While my son was stationed in Iraq, I ordered some from you. You were so sweet to send him some extra goodies in the package! I would love to shower with your soaps, again!


Sharon said...

Your soaps look delicious. I'm afraid I would want to put your bars in my mouth each time I stepped in the shower. I would love to experience a waterfall shower but I must settle for long, hot traditional showers.

stm said...

Shower! And lately it's been with my 2 year old...she loves the 'RAIN'!

thewhimsicalcupcake said...

I loooove the way your soaps look! So fancy!! I LOVE a good bath with salts and smelly-goods but showers are the way I go most times. I don't want to make a bath become something run-of-the-mill. I want it to be something I savor.

Holly said...

They are beautiful soaps love the oats! Headed to the website to see if I can make it for Christmas.

I'm definitely a shower girl, but I do love a long bath in my tub, gently scented with lavendar.

Mengda said...

wow making soap, now that's intense. favorite form of self cleaning= shower. Fast and effective (esp for a busy student)
...speaking of showers, I need one asap

Elizabeth said...

Funnily enough, I made soap today too (cinnamon)and I must say I find your technique very different! I don't think I've ever seen soap made quite that way before but hey, as long as it traces.
I'm a shower girl all the way.

mattie said...

I'm a shower girl.

Chelsea said...

Absolutly Soapalicious!!! I love a hot shower! But, if I had a waterfall nearby, it would be a toss up:)

Carrie said...

Wow! Those are so pretty!

I'm mostly a shower girl, but on the rare occasion I have some time on my hands (and the energy to clear all of the kid toys out of my big tub) nothing beats a soak!

jenn said...

Gorgeous soaps! They look like slices of fudge.

I'm a shower girl. Especially outdoor showers.. if you ever get a chance I highly highly recommend.

Caitlin said...

Oh, I prefer baths by a LONG shot. It's really too bad that my bathtub right now is this ridiculously short thing, you'd have to be two to get a good soak in that thing. Someday, someday (when I win the lottery I suppose) I'll rennovate the bathroom...

Lois Thorpe said...

Waterfalls are lovely, cold and glorious, but not practical for the everyday since I don't have one in my apartment. Showers are quick and rinse away all the exfoliating I do with my dry skin.

The Urban Baker said...

that looks like such fun. and they are so pretty. almost good enough to eat!

Dr.Sameena Prathap


Fabulous soaps...Beautiful write up...:)


Kim said...

Ack! Have I missed my chance to win???

Oh well. I'll comment anyway...I love to take super hot showers. Like, almost hot enough to burn you!

I love your soap, it looks delicious!


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