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Monthly Archives: March 2014

How It’s Made ~ Black Raspberry Vanilla

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How It’s Made ~ Black Raspberry Vanilla

I love mantra swirls!! They’re so beautiful and classic looking. It bums me out that when you make a traditional mantra swirl in a loaf mold, the very best part is on the top of the soap rather than throughout the entire bar.

With my Black Raspberry Vanilla soap, I decided to try a slab mold mantra swirl. I use Nature’s Garden BRV and it is wonderful! Easy to work with, nice light fruity scent. It appeals to those who don’t particularly like vanilla or raspberry so it’s pretty perfect.

Let’s get into the making of… I brought my five pound batch to a light trace and whisked in my fragrance. I divided my soap between my four colors: Starlight Cabernet Mica, Violet Mica, Titanium Dioxide and Black Mica. The black mica will only be used as an accent color, hence the small amount in the squirt bottle.

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I added my red, white and purple colors in an alternating ‘S’ pattern and left about an inch worth of soap in the bottom of each of my pouring containers. I use four cup plastic pouring containers for reference. Here’s what the soap looks like before the design:

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Now it’s time to tackle the design. Using the left over soap, I alternate lines of color running vertically through the shortest part of my mold. I alternate the red/ white/ purple throughout the mold. The black soap is then squeezed on either side of the white stripe. When I started pouring this design, my trace was very light. I started by spooning on the stripes until my soap soap thickened up a bit. Then I was able to free pour the rest of the soap.

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Mantra Swirling time! I start in the corner and drag my skewer through the first purple-black-white-black-red block of soap using this swirl:

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This would be an example of the ‘block’ of soap that I’m swirling through (please excuse my messy lines):

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Once all of the soap has been swirled, the end result is this:

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As usual, I hold my breath while inserting my dividers because it would truly suck if I screwed up this design…

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The cut bars:

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How It’s Made ~ Brigadoon

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How It’s Made ~ Brigadoon

Once upon a very long time ago…. I was heavily involved in musical theater. So much so that I even majored in it in college. When I stumbled across Bramble Berry’s Heather & Hyacinth Fragrance Oil, the song ‘Heather on the Hill’ from Brigadoon popped into my head. Inspiration struck and I knew I just HAD to make a plaid soap with this FO and call it Brigadoon.

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Let me preface all of this by saying that I not only pulled inspiration from the musical Brigadoon but also from a plaid soap created by Kevin from Devinely Designs. Seeing his design assured me that it was possible to achieve the look I was after.
For this design, I used the Squeeze Bottle Technique. It’s pretty darn versatile. It starts with transposing a design on wax or parchment paper. I hand drew a plaid design on some parchment. If you’re using wax paper, draw your design on the matte side. You can print up a design from our friend Google and copy it to your parchment paper. Whatever works best for you!

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Once the design was drawn, I flipped the marker side down into my mold so the marker wouldn’t bleed onto my soap. Now I can use those lines as a guide.

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I decided on a combo of greens, yellow and white for my plaid. I prepared my squeeze bottles with an apple green mica, titanium dioxide and a yellow mica. I premixed a Kelly Green mica for the base color. For the squeeze bottle design soap, I prepared a pound of soap ahead of time. I probably only used about 0.2 pounds on the plaid design but I used the rest of the soap for embeds for a future batch. I poured a little bit of soap into each squeeze bottle, shook the bottles until the color was blended then tested the consistency of the soap on a piece of parchment.

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You wouldn’t want your soap to be too runny before squeezing out your design. Using the drawing as my guide, I filled in the design with my colored soap.

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This plaid design will be the top of my soap. The Kelly Green soap will end up being the main background color. I allowed this plaid soap design to set up for about 15 to 20 mins. Prepared my main batter and spooned a little bit over the top of the plaid design.

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Looks like my plaid design is staying put! I lightly poured the rest of the soap on top of the design then inserted my dividers.

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Now the waiting begins… I’ll unmold this in 24 hours, to you it’ll feel like 5 seconds….

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Due to the wrinkling of the parchment and the consumption of way too much coffee…my plaid lines are wonky. My yellow decided to go transparent on me too. I’m not super happy with the final result but next time I’ll use wax paper and see if that will make a difference. Or maybe I’ll freehand the lines… Either way, it smells delightful.