Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting Ready For A Soapy Swap!

It's been a while since I've participated in a soap swap. About two and a half years ago, I joined a melt-and-pour soap swap that Bramble Berry was sponsoring. It was a lot of fun - I got to try some new soaps and fragrances, and I met some great soapmakers through their creations.

When Bramble Berry announced recently that they were sponsoring another soap swap, I decided to get in on the action. This time, I'll be making cold process soap.

So, how does the soap swap work? Participants make twelve bars of soap using a Bramble Berry fragrance of their choice (I'm going with Wasabi). Soaps are then sent to Bramble Berry headquarters, and they send each participant back twelve bars made by twelve different soapmakers.

Cool, huh? It's always fun to try other soapmakers' soaps and experience new fragrances. I just hope that everyone who receives my soap enjoys it!

For my contribution, I decided to make a soap with my vertical mold for a couple of reasons. First, it is the only mold I have that will hold a batch large enough to produce twelve bars. I have two 3-pound molds that make about 9-10 bars each, and my column mold probably would come up a little bit short, too. The vertical mold holds approximately four pounds of soap, which works out to about thirteen bars. Second, I wanted to try Anne-Marie's vertical twist technique.

I decided to substitute my own recipe, though, instead of trying the palm-free one. I have no doubt that it is a great recipe, and I do want to try some palm-free recipes. But I wanted to work with something familiar, especially since I had enough Wasabi FO for only one batch.

Here's my recipe:

Olive oil - 40%
Coconut oil - 28%
Palm oil - 26%
Cocoa butter - 6%
(Superfat @ 7%)

I also added sodium lactate (1 Tbsp for 45 oz. of oil) and Wasabi FO (.8 oz. per pound of oils) to the cooled base oils before adding the lye solution. For the colorants, I mixed Gold Sparkle mica and Hydrated Chrome Green pigment with a bit of glycerin to work out the clumps. After splitting the batch in half, I colored one portion gold and the other green. Then I poured the gold soap into one side of the vertical mold and the green into the other. (I find it works best to pour both colors into the mold simultaneously to prevent any soap from creeping over onto the other side.) When I removed the divider, I twisted it round and round as I pulled it up and out, making swirls.

Here is a video of the making of the Wasabi Vertical Twist Soap:


I think this batch turned out pretty cool! Every bar looks different. Some are very swirly, others look kinda like yin-yangs, and one bar even has a zig-zag look. 

Check out all of the different looks from the same batch!
And I love the Wasabi fragrance oil! It behaves well in cold process soap and it smells great! It may sound like an odd scent, but, trust me, it is uhmazing. To me, it smells very green, like fresh-cut grass, with a hint of peppermint and ginger in the background. Definitely very refreshing, invigorating, and unique! It's one of my all-time faves. Hopefully, I'll be able to introduce it to someone who hasn't tried it yet through the swap. I first encountered the Wasabi FO as a free sample in one of my Bramble Berry orders. One sniff and I had to get more. That's the great thing about free samples - you discover new fragrances that you might not have ever bought on your own. Plus, they're FREE!

If you want to participate in the soap swap, there's still time if you step lively. Soaps are due at Bramble Berry HQ by May 6, so they recommend mailing them no later than April 30. The categories are melt-and-pour or cold process soaps. If you want to make cold process soap but worry that it won't cure in time, you can put a note indicating the cure date on your soap if you're cutting it short. Or you could do hot process. And make sure you email Bramble Berry to let them know what you're planning! Get all of the details here.

Are any of you participating in this swap? If so, what are your plans for your soap?

32 comments:

  1. I love Wasabi too, you're making me want to soap it again! I think I still have some....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! BB's Wasabi FO is one of my favorites!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful, love the design! So the gold sparkle mica gives the nice yellow color? I would never have guessed! I'm not participating in the swap..one of these days I would like too though, it sounds fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kalla! It seems that I need to use a lot of the gold mica to get a shimmery gold color. I got a nice gold in my Christmas Cheer soap, but I used the mica generously in a small amount of soap. When coloring a larger amount of soap, I usually get a yellow color unless I use a lot of it. I'm looking forward to the swap. Swaps are fun!

      Delete
  3. Oh, I would like to participate in a swap but there is too much to do. Wasabi sounds nice and fresh, and your soap looks also very fresh. It seems like all soaps with yellow are so appealing now when spring has finally arrived to southern Finland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marika! Wasabi is a great scent for spring. It seems that I'm favoring yellow and green this time of year, too!

      Delete
  4. Love it! The swirls are fantastic and I agree, wasabi's a great scent. The swap sounds like great fun, I need to get my butt in gear and try it one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teresa! The swaps are fun. Definitely give one a go someday!

      Delete
  5. wow, that's really lovely, the yellow and green look great together. I'm not participating but I'm sure whoever is lucky enough to receive yours will be very happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jan! I like the yellow and green together, too. The colors go really well with the scent. I hope that whoever receives my soaps will like them!

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful project, I love the soap you're participating with.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Iulia! I'm very happy with how this batch turned out!

      Delete
  7. What a great swap! Your soap looks beautiful and I'm really curious about the smell. I cannot buy wasabi FO anywhere in the Netherlands. Whoever will receive your soap is very lucky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marieke! The Wasabi FO is really lovely - like grass, peppermint, and ginger together. I hope the other swap participants like it!

      Delete
  8. Love your Wasabi soap, Jer! The soap swap sounds like so much fun -- what a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mom! I'm looking forward to swapping soaps with other soapmakers. It should be fun!

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful look has your soap, Jenny!
    Love the idea of this swap, can't wait to see who is going to receive this soap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natalia! I like how this soap turned out, too. I'll be sure to post an update when I get my swap soaps!

      Delete
  10. So excited to get your soaps in Jenny! You are just going to love all the other soaps in this swap. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anne-Marie! And thank you to you and everyone at Team Bramble Berry for sponsoring the swap. I'll be sending mine in soon. I'm looking forward to seeing the soaps as they come in to BB HQ, and I can't wait to receive my swaps!

      Delete
  11. The swaps are wonderful thing,the best way to enjoy others soaps. I really like how different every piece is,looks like yoy've made several batches. Colours are great again and I would really like to smell it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maja! I was surprised by how different all of the bars look from each other, too. The bars near the bottom of the mold have the zigzag or yin-yang look, and the ones closer to the top are more swirly. It does look like they came from different batches!

      Delete
  12. Such beautiful soaps for the swap participation. The soaper who receive it will be really lucky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gordana! I hope the other swap participants like my soap!

      Delete
  13. Wonderful spring colors and the swirl is really nice Jenny - the people, who can use your soaps are enthusiastic, of course ;-) i envy that, a little bit ;-)

    greetings,

    Krissi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Krissi! The colors and scent are very spring-like. I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of soaps I receive in the swap!

      Delete
  14. Lovely technique and lovely soap !

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your soap came out SO cool, Jenny! I think Wasabi is going on the must-order list. I've always been so curious about that scent--wasabi the condiment is not something that I ever take a big whiff of! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Wasabi sounds like an odd scent, but it is soooo nice and it behaves beautifully in CP soap. It sticks well, too, and it has a wonderfully fresh, green scent. It's one of my all-time faves. I buy the big bottles of it!

      Delete
  16. Hi Jenny,

    I just received my soaps from the Brambleberry soap swap and was delighted that it included one of your bars! The wasabi smells amazing and the bar is beautiful. I can't wait to use it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! How cool! I hope that you enjoy the bar. Isn't the Wasabi FO fantastic? I received my swap box a couple of days ago, too, and next week I'll be working on a blog post about the soaps that I got!

      Delete

Spammy or inappropriate comments will be removed.