February is here and we have 80 degree weather in Arizona. What better way to celebrate than with a Winter Wonderland themed soap challenge featuring – SNOW 🙂 We had the option of entering a soap in the all-natural or synthetic categories. Most of my natural supplies lend themselves more to a fall theme, nettles, safflower, annatto seeds, etc. and are lovely in soap but not quite right for the winter theme I had in mind. I opted to use my blue micas paired with a fragrance that will hopefully remind everyone in COLD climates that Spring is coming soon.
I found a pretty little snowflake ice cube tray on Amazon and thought the depth of the flake looked just perfect. Cutting them in half shouldn’t be too difficult. Amy generously shared her natural white soap recipe that also looked like it would be hard enough for those tiny details. Fabulous! I used her recipe, for the snowflakes, switching out one light oil and adding just a pinch of titanium dioxide and a little bit of sparkle plenty glitter to get really white, sparkly snowflakes.
The first loaf was very exciting to cut into, I can tell you that! I was tickled at the first results but realized that my two snows were too similar. I also thought my peppermint fragrance was a little cliche`- I had something else in mind now. I started the process again intending to deal with these minor issues with more blue, blue/green and maybe a snowdrift on top ( just so there’s no way I’d miss the SNOW part 😉 )
I made more snowflakes and when the day came to make the second loaf, I was stoked!
I was feeling pretty confident that I was going to nail it this time and after only 2 tries. HA!?! Should’ve known better than to get cocky with soap
Here’s the doomed 2nd loaf.
My first mistake was loading the snowflakes too closely to the edge of the mold, they were actually touching the mold.
Because they were touching I didn’t realize my soap wasn’t scooting in around. I ended up with very large air pockets right along the entire side of the loaf and some awkward snowflake edges. My second mistake was cutting the loaf from the wrong direction. The wires missed their marks and some snowflakes ended up shaved. LOL. I still really liked the look of the bars overall but intended to change a couple more minor things, like the tilt of the landscape blah blah. This time, I also noted, in pen, on my mold how I needed to load the next loaf into the cutter so the snowflakes wouldn’t be shaved again.
More snowflakes were made. Attempted one last loaf. Carefully!
The third (and final) loaf turned out beautiful ❤ I really like the colors and the bit of color bleed/glycerin river under the snowflakes. Snow flurry!
I did notice some air pockets near a few of the snowflakes – I suppose I just didn’t squish the soap batter enough around them, they are rather pointy and I was afraid I’d get some air no matter what. I am a newbie, hopefully will pick up some tips and tricks along the way! No worries, the little pockets do not bother me nearly as much as they did when they were running down the whole side of my second loaf.
I do have some ideas for an all-natural soap after playing with this one, yep, even with snowflakes…if I only had more time in a day! Maybe I’ll play with the idea and post it up on the blog another day.
To those of you in colder climates who may receive this soap in the swap, I wish you warmer days ahead with these Starfruit scented snowflake soaps – Star Flakes. Those little pockets around the snowflakes carry with them some hot Arizona air and those warm wishes. They’ll be cured for you on the first day of Spring! 😀 Happy soaping and as always, thank you for the challenge! ❤
Here are a few photos from all three loaves of soap 😉 You can click on them for a larger view.
Special thanks to my photographer (and wonderfully talented daughter) Chloe Copeland ❤ ❤ ❤