Hi Blog-verse 🙂
August has rolled around far too quickly for me. I’m another year older (Gah!) but on the plus side I finally got a Bud Cutter for my birthday! Yay! 🙂 I love it 🙂
And my darling hubby took me out to dinner at The Lighthouse Restaurant where we had an amazing seafood dinner. The next day, my friends took me to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant and brought along a cake! I blew out candles. I had a great time. 🙂
How lucky am I?
Now to soap . . . For Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club during the month of August, we were tasked with creating a Dancing Funnel Soap. I luuurve dancing. I’m thinking I could actually dance while making it! lolol. 🙂 Well, maybe not while pouring the lye. This technique produced a soap which looked absolutely amazing. The original creator of this technique, Tatsiana Serko of Steso Soap, made the Dancing Funnel technique look so easy in the tutorial! But don’t be fooled. It isn’t that easy.
I knew straightaway I was going to attempt a natural soap. *Cue me rubbing my hands together and my imagination thinking it’s about to have a field day.*
I have been meaning to juice the fruit from the mandarin tree in my backyard and add it to soap. I’ve done it before and the fruit produces a lovely mandarin colour. However, this time I’d use activated charcoal as the border colour and mandarin essential oil for a lovely fresh scent.
It’s Winter here and the mandarins are such a lovely colour. They’re also organic. Now, I’d read somewhere (I read way too much!) that getting a nice green with staying power from a natural colourant was difficult. I’ve worked with spirulina before, and it’s a beautiful deep, earthy green, but not the type of green I wanted for this colour palette. After I plucked the mandarins from my tree, juiced the fruit whole and froze the liquid, I decided to add a little bit of alkanet infused olive oil to my activated charcoal border.
I sprinkled lye on top of frozen mandarin juice but also added full fat Greek Yogurt. I love the creaminess that yogurt lends to soap. Yes, there’s a little brown bit from the mandarins, but I strained that out. There were some considerations: I needed to use white oils. I wouldn’t add anything that wasn’t natural to this soap. I’d try for a recipe that was slow to trace. I wanted a soap with skin-loving benefits.
For scent: The style of the soap would suit something fruity, but I wanted a hint of brightness in there.
Here are some notes on mandarin essential oil:
Its aroma is described as intense, fresh, sweet, fruity, juicy, sharp, tangy with elements of candied orange and a delicate floral, neroli-like undertone.
So I figured the mandarin essential oil would be enough.
Now that I was truly excited about the scent of my soap and could imagine myself actually using it, not just because of the scent, but from the skin-loving properties added to the batter, I hunted around in my kitchen for what else I could use to turn the batter orange. I could have used my annatto infused olive oil, but instead I used this:
It is like a type of red canola and palm oil.
Charcoal and alkanet infused oil.
First part of the pour.
Almost ready to go into the oven!
Note: This is actually my second attempt at the Dancing Funnel Technique. The first time, a layer of oil sat on top and I had to stick blend it all. That soap ended up being black from the charcoal and I realised I was using the wrong type of squeezy bottles. This technique needs a specific type. You can’t really use the recycled sauce bottles, unless they have a clear open hole at the tip.
Now to more pictures of Dancing Funnel soap #2
I considered attempt #2 somewhat of a success! But I couldn’t stop there . . . no . . .
So, I made a strawberry, lime, and raspberry soap.
This one was using micas and fragrance oils. I wish I’d taken more photos of the process, but I just didn’t have the time. I used a slightly different recipe than my mandarin soap and the batter set up quickly. I didn’t even really have the time to get everything in order, because the batter was going thick. I wanted a fragrance oil that could really slow things down, so I chose to add in some Black Raspberry Vanilla from Brambleberry that I purchased from Aussie Soap Supplies. I love how the strawberry, lime, and raspberry soap turned out.
But I still hadn’t had enough yet. I wanted to try a multi-coloured Dancing Funnel pour using all-natural ingredients.
I actually managed to take more photos this time. I went back to my original recipe. And I had a lot of fun. 🙂
Some pics of my coloured oils:
Top left colour is 1 tsp of yellow clay dispersed in lemongrass eo and 1 tablespoon of annatto infused oil.
Top right is 1 tsp of purple clay dispersed into 2 tablespoons of alkanet infused oil and lavender eo.
Bottom left is 1 tsp of pink clay infused with rose geranium eo with 1 tsp of madder root dispersed in 1 tbs of sunflower oil. I added a little white soap batter to this to turn it pinker.
Bottom right is 1 tsp of spirulina mixed with 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and lime eo.
The border colour (not pictured here) was white with 1 tsp of kaolin clay dispersed into 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and spearmint eo.
I’m going to add some videos just to show you how fluid my batter was, even though I stick blended it. Now, I don’t have a tripod. I had to hold my phone in one hand, so bear with me, please 🙂 I’m also doing this outside just for the quality of light. However, I realised halfway through that my table is on a slight lean which changes the look of the soap. Having a level surface is important with the formation of this soap. The mandarin soap had a level surface as I made it on the kitchen bench when it was covered with newspaper.
This is the pink clay, madder root and rose geranium eo. I strained the mix into my containers because of the speckles.
This is my attempt at pouring with all-natural colours.
And sorry, but I had to trim the video. However you get the general idea. 🙂 Hopefully, you can watch it, but if not, that’s okay. I just wanted to include some footage.
Here is a picture of the finished product 🙂
But I still didn’t think it was good enough. The soap has a tie-dye kind of look to it, but the green (from spirulina) has already faded. I guess from CPOPing in the oven.
So I decided to enter my Strawberry & Lime soap as a contestant to the Soap Challenge Club!
Thank you Amy and Tatsiana for such a fun challenge!